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^y, /srP, 




(ttmslm tlmntgd ^rdanlt, 


1844 & 1845, 





Webb an«l Ch.ipmnn, Printers, Dublin. 


A Preface is like a porter at the entrance of a castle 
or a dinner-party ; however necessary his attendance 
may be, and however dazzling his livery, he can 
expect but a hasty brush from the passers in ; it is the 
castle they want to see, it is the dinner they have come 
to eat. Knowing, however, that every public act de- 
mands a public explanation, I give my candid reasons 
for doing so strange a work, and for doing it in so 
strange a way. 

We have had many " Pencillings by the Way," and 
" Conciliation Halls," and " Killamey Lakes" from the 
tops of coaches and from smoking dinner tables. But 
one day's walk on mountain or bog, one night's lodging 
where the pig, and the ass, and homed oxen feed, 

** Like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest." 

" Remember, my children," said my father, " that 
the Irish are a suffering people; and when they 
come to'your doors, never send them empty away." It 
was in the garrets and cellars of New York that I first 
became acquainted with theJrish peasantry, and it was 
there I saw they were a suffering people. Their pa- 
tience, their cheerfulness, their flow of blundering, 


hap-hazard, happy wit, made them to me a distinct 
people from all I had seen. Often, when seated at mj 
fireside, have I said to those most dear to my heart, 
" God will one day allow me to breathe the mountain 
air of the sea-girt coast of Ireland — to sit down in 
their cabins, and there learn what soil has nurtured, 
what hardships have disciplined so hardy a race — so 
patient and so impetuous, so revengeful and so forgiv- 
ing, so proud and so humble, so obstinate and so docile, 
so witty and so simple a people." 

Those who then laughed at my vagaries, have all 
gone down to the dust. The world was before me, and 
all mankind my brethren. '* I have made you deso- 
late. I want you for other purposes. Go, work in my 
vineyard," was the word. 1 conferred not with flesh 
and blood. • No pope or priest, no minister or pre- 
late augmented my purse, to enable me to spy out the 
nakedness of the land. I came ** a warfare at my own 
charges." I came to gather no legends of fairies or 
banshees, to pull down no monarchies, or set up any 
democracies ; but I came to glean after the reapers, to 
gather up the fragments, to see the poor peasant by 
way-side and in bog, in the field and by his peat fire, 
and to read to him the story of Calvary. I came to 
linger with the women at the foot of the cross, and go 
with them early to the sepulchre. I have done so ; 
and should the fastidious reader say that this conde- 
scending to men of low estate, this eating with publi- 
cans and sinners — above all, this lodging in a manger, 
is quite in bad odour if not in bad taste, he must be 
told it was because there was no " room for me in the 
inn," or because my pained feet could go no farther. 

I had counted the cost. I knew there were professed 


Christians in the nineteenth century, who would be 
forgetful to entertain strangers, and would ask, " where 
hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness ?^ I 
knew there were " doorkeepers in the house of God," 
who would say, " Sit thou here under my footstool," 
if the " the gold ring and goodly apparel," were want- 
ing ; and I knew that she, whose delicate foot never 
treads the threshold of the poor, would scruple the pro- 
priety if not the reputation of her who does it. I 
have not "dipped my pen in gall" towards any of 
those ; I have mentioned no names where they could 
be readily avoided, and then, in most cases, where 
gratitude required me to do so. 

I ask no reward — ^I ask no sympathy. This sowing 
by the side of all waters has been abundantly paid by 
the " God save ye kindly," and the " Fear not, I am 
with you." 

Reader, I would not be an egotist — I would not 
boast ; but I would speak of that Almighty Arm that 
sastained me, when, on a penny's worth of bread, I 
have walked over mountain and bog for twenty and 
twenty-three miles, resting upon a wall, by the side of 
a lake, or upon my basket, reading a chapter in the 
sweet Word of Life to some listening labourer. And 
when at night-fall, in some humble lodging-house, my 
potato and salt were taken, my feet bathed, then could 
I sing of mercy ; then could I say, what lack I yet ? 
I never had one fear by night or by day, nor ever cast 
a longing, lingering look behind, to my once loved 
home across the ocean. 

Should the devout reader be disappointed at the 
want of gravity in some of the details, he can only be 
told that facts are delineated as they occurred ; not to 


make a story or a book, but to present to the reader 
the rustic as he is — ^the seemly and the unseemly, the 
beautiful and the deformed, the consistent and the 
inconsistent. Whoever mixes awhile with the hete- 
rogeneous jumble of Irish sadness and Irish mirth, 
will find that to be grave at all times, 

" Exceeds all power of face." 

One great difficulty in the narration has been the 
pronoun /. Many interesting facts have been partial- 
ly illustrated, and some wholly suppressed, because 
this officious letter must figure so prominently. 

Allow me to say to every Christian and every phi- 
lanthropist, " turn not away from your own flesh." 
There is a vast amount of talent in its native rubbish 
in the mountains of Kerry and Connemara, and in the 
bogs of Conn aught. Far too many roses have already 
wasted their " sweetness on the desert air" — ^too many 
a dark-haired Kerry girl has lavished her graces on 
the mountain goat and sheep she has tended, without 
once reading the story of the Ruth and Rebecca whom 
she, in occupation, unknowingly imitates. I do not 
say, Do the work as I have done, but. Do it, and 
do it better. K my steps will not serve as a pattern, 
my aberrations may as a warning. Their proprieties 
and improprieties are before you ; and you must show 
me a ** more excellent way," or I shall certainly do the 
same thing in the same manner, if again honoured 
with the mission. 

It was never my intention to tax the Irish public 
with another volume, added to the huge pile already 
written on Ireland. It was my design to go silently 
through among the poor, and tell the story to my own 


countrymen ; that they might be induced to labour 
more untiringly and effectually for the destitute por- 
tion of this nation, who are daily landing upon their 
shores. But I heard the sound of an ** abundance of 
rain ;" the cloud is spreading over mountain top and 
lowly glen ; they that "for want and famine are deso- 
late," are crying, <' give us food to eat, we loathe this 
light manna ;" and from many a pulpit through the 
length and breadth of the land I hear, ** Thrust in the 
sickle, for the harvest is ripe." The treasury is open, 
and the rich men are casting in their gifts. Accept the 
mite of the widow ; it is small indeed, but it is " all her 
living," and given heartily and cheerfully. 

The reader is assured that nothing has been added 
to meet the state of the famine of 1846 and 1847. 
Facts are related as they occurred and were described 
in 1844 and 1845 ; and these facts then indicated that 
an explosion must soon take place, and that Ireland 
must be turned inside out ; so that all the world might 
see that, deformed as may be her surface, her vitals 
show a disease hereditary, obstinate, and still more 
odious, which opiates or ointments cannot cure. 

Thanks to the Hibernian Bible Society, which fur- 
nished me with the Word of God in English and 
Irish, through the instrumentality of a friend, who 
also procured for me tracts and other suitable books 
for distribution, on my last tour round the coast. It 
was not till four excursions had been made in the 
interior, that my name and object were known. They, 
therefore, are not amenable for any thing I have said 
or done. I was not a " chosen vessel" of theirs. God 
reward their bounty, by the finding " after many days," 


of this bread "cast upon the waters." "Thou 
knowest not which shall prosper, either this or that** 

Thanks to all those who have spoken kind words to 
the stranger ; and thanks to those who have felt called 
to give the distant look or the cool rebuke — the former 
have filled my heart with gratitude, and the latter have 
made me cling closer to the High Arm that sustained 

Dublin, June 10th, 1847. 



Departure firom New York — The Author's Parentage — Fellow 
Passengers — ^Death on Board — A good Captain — Death of a 
Ihnnkard — Arrival at Liverpool — Voyage to Dublin and 
Arrival at Kingstown — A Chapter of Accidents — Difficulty 
of obtaining Lodgings — A Morning Walk — Visit to a Ri 
man Catholic Clergyman — The Linen Hall — The North 
Union Poor House — ^Letters of Introduction — A Strange 
Keception — ^Asylum for Unmarried Ladies 1 


Dialogues with the Poor— An English Prophecy— Clontarf 
Castle— Plan for the Relief of the Destitute— A Dying Saint 
—Journey to Tullamore — ^Family Affliction — Visits to the 
Poor — The Jail — The Poorhouse — Irish Beggars— A Scene 
on leaving Tullamore — Return to Dublin — Extraordinary 
Spectacle on the Road — Connaught Labourers — The Two 
Convicts — A Man's Merit cannot be judged by his Coat — 
Another Visit to the Dying — A Military Congregation. 19 


Visit to the County of Wicklow — A Tremendous Coach-load 
— Horrors of the Journey — Safe Arrival and kind Reception 
— A Happy Family — Shelton Abbey — Arklow — Beautiful 
Scenery — Arklow Fishermen — Domestic Turmoil — Rath- 
drum — The Vale of Ovoca — ^Wicklow Gold Mines — A Him- 
gry Man — An Old War Horse — A Scriptural Answer — 
Visit to a Rectory 35 


The Church of Kilbride — A Methodist Minister — Methodism 
in Lreland— Visit to the Rectory — Teetotalism unfashionable 
— ^American Courtesy to Females not universal in Ireland — 
The Seven Churches of Glendalough— Foolish Legends con- 
nected with this locality — Strange Exhibition of Party Spirit 
— ^Betum to Dublin— Lady Harburton's School 52 


The Second Cabin of a Canal-Boat — Much ado about Sixpence 
— A Blind Fiddler — A Jaunting Car Jaunt — Arrival at Kil- 
kenny — Cordial Hospitality — ffilkenny Beggars — Journey to 
Urlingford— A Rural Physician— Ride in a Turf Kish — The 
Poor Widow's Welcome— A Country Dance— Departure of 
an Emigrant — ^Lamentations thereupon— Kind Reception in 
an intelligent Roman Catholic Family — An Irish Wake — A 
Faction— Fair at Urlingford — Costume of the Peasantry- 
Visit to a National School 66 

Cabin Life — Urlingford Spa — Rebuff from a Clergyman — New 
Birmingham Colliery — Village of Grange — The Police — A 
Good Methodist — Mr. Barker of Kilcooley— Yankee Doo- 
dle — Residence in the Neighbourhood — Visit to Thurles — 
Ancient Abbey of Holy Cross — Journey to Clonmcl, Dun- 
garran, and Cappoquin — Visit to the lirappist Monastery of 
Mount MeUary 83 

The spirit of Caste injurious in Ireland — Journey to Youghal 
—The Blessed Well of St. Dagan— Cabin Hospitality— Un- 
courteous Reception by Sir Richard Musgrave — Rebuff from 
a ** great, good man" — ^Rejoicings at Lismorefor O'Connell's 
liibCTation — A Disaster — ^Brutality of an Inn-keeper's Son — 
Dungarvan — Two silent Quakeresses — Thoughts on Irish 
Hospitality — ^Unsuccessful Application to Bianconi — Strong 
National Peculiarities of the Irish — Unpopularity of Step- 
mothers — St. Patrick's Well— A Poor Old Woman — ^A Bap- 
tist Minister — Happy Molly 105 

Nunnery at Thurles — Monks* School — ^Dialogues on the Road 
— Grateful Reflections — Nocturnal Alarm — Affecting Inci- 
dent — A Gay Consumptive — Parting from True Friends — A 
Jolly Company — ^Lamentation on Lying — Walk to Roscrea 
— A Weariful Woman — ^A Centenarian— Charity Sermon — 
— A Christian Sister— A Poor House— Visit to a Great 
Brewer — A Funeral — Father Mathew — Remarkable Vivacity 
of the Irish — Self Denial — Short Commons — A Snug Pro- 
testant Farmer's Household — Cool Reception 1 22 

Birr — ^A Miserable Protestant Lodging-house — A Rich Distil- 
ler's Family ruined by Intemperance— A Wealthy Eccen- 
tric — Lord Rosse's Telescope, and Lord Rosse — A Baptist 
Minister— Courtesy of the Children of the Irish Peasantry— 
Another Unfortimate Letter of Introduction— Walk from 
Ballinasloe to Loughrea— Miserable Condition of the Poor — 


A returned Emigrant— Fellow Travellers— An Interesting 
Trio — ^Reading the Bible — ^A Scripture Discussion — A Con- 
naught Catholic's Experience of Church-going — Market-day 
in Iioughrea — A Shebeen House — A lSg*s Honesty — He- 
moTseless Staring — More Bible Beading — Scarcity of Female 
Beauty in Galway— Staring in Gralway beyond description 
— Ancient Burial-Groimd — Visit to a Presbyterian Minister 
who had just married a Rich Wife — ^Laborers standing in 
the Market-place — Miserable Lodgings — Walk to Oranmore 
— ^Hie name of ** American Stranger" a Key to the People's 
Hearts — A Connemara Girl 146 


Walk to Loughrea — Thoughts of Home — ^A New Day — A 
Fellow Traveller— Cabin Theology— Such a Bed 1— Eyre- 
court — Hearty Welcome in Banagher — An Anxious Mother 
— A Noble-Hearted Daughter— Incursion of a Troop of 
Connaughtmen into an Lon, and how they behaved them- 
selves — Visit to Mr. S. — Rejection — Christian Kindness of 
Poor Mary and her Brother 173 


Novel Interior of a Cabin — ^No Lodging Place — Dreary walk 
through mud and rain to Roscrea — What to do for a bed ? 
— ^A profitable Sixpence — Start joyfully, with fine weather, 
and threepence in my purse — A Lift firom a "Friend" — 
Money-letter at Urfingford — Refiections — Honesty and 
Kindness of the poor Irish Peasantry — Parting from Cordial 
Friends — Garrulous Fellow-traveller — Perilous position — 
Return to Dublin, and kind reception — ^Puzzling Voyage of 
Discovery 195 


Start for another Tour— How to carry a heavy Load with 
little trouble — A formidable Animal in the Caravan — Wick- 
low — Visit to a Poor Cabin — ^Half-a-crown earned in Three 
Months — Attentive Auditory — ^Wretched condition of a Sick 
Woman — The bright Old Man of the Mountain — Sabbath 
Hynm, and the Company collected tiiereby — The Scholar 
with his Iliad — ^Visit to Wicklow Lighthouses— Wexford — 
InfSant School— A tolerant Catholic 206 


Public Buildings in Wexford— Unexpected Delay — American 
Family — A Rare Lady — Appreciation of Teachers — Doctors 
differ— Delightful Family — Overlading of Vehicles — ^Wa- 
terford — Clonmel — Car Travelling and Companions on the 
Road— Xodgings in Cork 219 



Reception from Father Mathew — The Aged Nun — Temper- 
ance Tea Party— Danger of becoming a Public Character — 
One Source of the Reverence paid to the Priests — Ursuline 
Convent and its Elegancies — Sail to Cove— Beautiful Bay — 
Search for Dr. Power — The Begging Whine — Trip to Blar- 
ney—Racy Old Priest—" The Blackguard Salt Herring"— 
Wonders of Blarney — Dr. Barter's Hydropathic Establish- 
ment — Our Jolly Priest is no Teetotaller — Walk to Cove — 
Pleasant Little Maidens — Delightful Time passed in Dr. 
Power's Family 232 


Cloyne— Diflference between Upstarts and the really Wellbred 
— ^Practical Proofs of the same — Wonderful Natural Caves — 
City Jail of Cork — Humane Grovemor — Prison Discipline — 
Taking leave of a good man — Character of Father Mathew 
— No Monopoly in Orthodoxy — A Night in Bandon — ^A 
Peasant Family employed, a rare sight in Ireland — ^Arrival 
atBantry 246 


Exploration in Bantry — Poverty, Wretchedness, and Filth of 
tJie Dwellings — Grand Poorhouse standing imoccupied — 
Wigwam Row — My attendant, John — Employment a no- 
velty — ^Beautiful Bay of Bantry — Glengariff— Bad choice of 
a Lodginghouse — A motley Audience — No Refuge from the 
Staring — Morning Levee — ^Lord Bantry 's Cottage — Hospi- 
tality at the Gatehouse— Call at my ill-chosen Lodgings. 259 


Rambles in Glengariff— Household Manure — Kind Little Guide 
— A Gallant Offer— Splendid Interior of the Slated House — 
A Rare and Lofty Larder — Perilous Transit — Wild Natives 
— ^Dwdling of the Three Sisters — Spiritual Fallow Ground — 
Man sometimes behind the Lower Animals — The Author 
delivers a Short Sermon — Good-bye to Glengariff and the 
Hospitable Family of the Gatekeeper — Lakes and Mountains 
— Publican versus Priest — Ride among Turf Baskets — Early 
Matrimony 272 


Accident at Eenmare — Arrival at Killamey — Dread 
of Heretical Books — Turk Waterfall — Funeral Wail — 
America's good fame — ^Lions of the Lakes — " Sweet Innis- 
fiedlen" — White-robed Procession— A Third Funeral — Dry 


Bones— Battle of the Ghosts—** Pair of Slippers"— Test of 
Orthodoxy — Staring 1 Staring 1 — Another Ilospitahle Gate- 
house — Lord Kenmare's Park — Calm Sahbath Mom — The 
Little Petitioner for the * * Word of God"— A Door of Access. 



Eellow Travellers on the Kerry Mountains — Bay of Ross by 
Moonlight — ** Fine Stage-house " — Loss of Appetite — Feet- 
bathing Extraordinary — Kerry Trick — Glorious Morning on 
the Mountains, in spite of Hunger and Weariness— Cabin 
Courtesy — Woman a Beast of Burden — Lodging-house at 
Cahirciveen — A Saucepan an Unattainable Luxury — Reli- 
gion and Filth — Guests to the Fair— Curly-headed Biddy — 
Battle of the Sticks — Sabbath Services — Protestant Whis- 
key-selling — Lnproved Quarters. 303 


An Americanised Irishman — Armed Defence — Modem Mer- 
maids — ^Island of Valentia — Emplojrment and a good Land- 
lord — Conversable Coast Guard — A Child's Mute Appeal — 
Poverty and Low Rents — Ridiculous old Custom — Derrynane 
— O'Connell's Library— Cold Comfort— Hospitable Port in 
the Storm — Lighthearted Burdenbearers — Kerry Dancing 
and Kerry Kindness 320 


Rough Road— A kind Offer declined— Lonely and Late— The 
Funeral Lament — Maurice Raheley*s Lodging House — Per- 
fumed Bedchamber — Sunrise on the Kerry Mountains — 
Novel Duet — Mountain Air or City Smoke ?— Irish Roads 
— A Teetotaller in Bad Company— Awful Night— Sabbath 
of rest at Killamey — Gap of Dunloe— Guide Persecution — 
The ** Crazy Woman"— Where to spend the Night— Bright 
Wood Fire— Recollections of Childhood.— Dinis Island — ^Debt 
of Gratitude. 333 


Tralee — Public-house honesty— A ** Gentleman"— Mr. Wal- 
I)ole*s Honorable Dealings — Christianity at Dingle — ** They 
always Stand"— One Bright Spot — The Converts — ^Education 
of the Lower Order — Nancy Brown's Parlor — Coquetry and 
Gallantry— Peasant Girl's Poetry— Learned Priest— Sybil 
Head — ''Look ! Lookl"— Fearless children— Disappointment 
and Vexation— Candid Hotel-keeper— Banks of the Shan- 
non 348 



Sail up the Shannon to Limerick— Poorhouse Stirahout— 
Sleepless Night at Ennis— Town without Bread — Grievous 
Ignorance — True Delivery of my one-armed Charioteer — 
Basket of Bones — My Carpet-hag ransacked — Learned 
Schoolmaster — Exchange of Compliments— Red Petticoats — 
Old Pedlar and his daughter — Temple of Nature — The Back 
of the Barracks— Marhle Quarry — Completely Watersoaked 
— Connemara Hospitality — Bundles of Straw — Sabhath in 
the Mountain Cabin 363 


Clifden— Clifden Castle— Irish Holidays— Walk to Roundstone 
— Hardships of Irish Tenants — Three Guides pointing three 
different ways — ^Potatoes a Curse upon Ireland — A Rough 
and Weary road — Absence of Trees — An Aged Pilgrim — 
G<x>d Wishes — A Timely Supply — Judicious Advice — A 
Kind Curate — A Connemara School — Ascent of the Diamond 
Mountain, and Adventure by the Way — TuUy — No Bread 
to be had in the Town— The Isle of Omey, and the Natives 
thereof — Change for the better in Connemara — Return to 
Clifden 379 


Misfortimes in Clifden — Reverse of Fortune — An Aged Pil- 
grim — Eager Listeners — ^Visit to a Dying Man — Glorious 
Sunset — An officious Policeman — Lady Clare — Arrival in 
Galway*— Obtrusiveness of the Women — A Sermon on Bap* 
tism—Joumey to Westport — Introduction to Mr, Pounden — 
A devoted Presbyterian Minister — Sketch of a Christian 
Missionary such as Ireland needs — Croagh Patrick — Haz- 
ardous Ascent of the Mountain — Grand Prospect from the 
Summit — ^Return to Westport — Doubts Removed — Filial 
Affection— A Poor Protestant 399 


Sunday Sermons — Newport— A Relic of Better Days — ^Arri- 
val at Achill Sound, and Kind Reception from Mr. Savage 
and his Family— Visit to the Colony — Mr. Nangle's Pro- 
testant Missionary Settlement — Molly Vesey's Lodgings — 
Visit to the Schools at the Colony— Walk to the Keem 
Mountains — A Centenarian — The Amethyst Quarries— The 
Author's Acknowledgments and Censures Explained — Mr. 
Nangle's Weekday Lecture — Interview with Mr. and Mrs. 
Nangle — ^Doctrinal Conversion is not aU that is due to the 
Convert from Popery— A Reformed Roman Catholic Priest 


— ^Renewed Hospitality at the Sound — Another Short Visit 
to the Colony — ^Newport — ^Intemperance not banished from 
the County of Mayo — Westport — Castlebar — Sligo — A Beau- 
tiftil Glen — ^Hospitality in Death — Picturesque Scenery of 
the County of Sligo — Return to Dublin — The Mendicity 
Association 414 


Mr. Nangle*8 Notice, in the Achill Herald, of the Author's 
Visit to the Settlement — Remarks upon this Document and 
the Spirit which probably dictated it — Concluding Obser- 
vations relative to the Motives of the Writer's Tour in 
Ireland, and the Reception she met with from Various 
Classes of the Community 436 

Page 3,/or " And when you are lent flrom home." read. And when I was tent from home. 
•— — 8, last line, for rock, read spot. 
— . 7, line IB, for holy, read lowly. 

ae, line S, for birth, nod berth. 

— - S6, line 7 from foot of page, for on terra flrma, seeking, read, on terra Anna, the 
other seeking. 



Departnre from New York — The Author's Parentage— Fellow 
Passengers — ^Death on Board — A good Captain— Death of a 
Drunkard — Arrival at Liverpool — Voyage to Dublin and 
Arrival at Kingstown — A Chapter of Accidents — Difficulty 
of obtaining Lodgings— A Morning Walk — Visit to a Roman 
Catholic Clergyman— The Linen Hall — The North Union 
Poor House — Letters of Litroduction — A Strange Recep- 
tion — Asylum for Unmarried Ladies. 

It was in the spring of 1844, May 16tb, that I stood 
upon the deck of the ship Brooklyn, and saw the last 
spire of New York recede in the distance. It was the 
home of my childhood — the land where hopes and 
disappointments had ebbed and flowed ; where I had 
looked out through smiles and tears, till the last earthly 
tie was severed ; and where the last tear was dried on 
the graves of those most loved. I had no more to shed. 
It was with a stoical indifference I heard the last fare- 
well, and took the last grasp of the hand of him who 
asked, " When shall we look for you home?" and then 
I shut myself into the narrow cabin, which was to be 
my parlour and bed-room during the voyage, heeding 
neither wind, or wave, or monster of the deep. It was 
not the rich, the honored, or the happy I was hoping 
to meet ; it was not their salutations or presents I was 
going to seek for. It was the poor and the outcast. I 
was about to visit those who in dens and caves of the 
earthy were ** forgotten by their neighbors," and who 


2 THE VOYAGE. [chap. i. 

heard no kinder voices than the whistling of the winds, 
or the screeching of some desolate owl among the 
mountains and crags where they had made their habi- 

I was alone. Not a soul in the ship but the captain 
knew my name, or understood my object, and leaving 
the command of the vessel to him, and the working of 
the ropes to the sailors, I betook myself to the open- 
ing of my parcels, to ascertain what necessary supplies 
they contained for mind and body in a voyage like 

** My boast is not that I deduce my birth. 
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth ; 
But higher for my proud pretentions rise, 
Tlie cMld of parents passed into the skies." 

My home education was of the most uncompromising 
kind. My parents were descended from the puritanical 
stock ; they taught me that goodness alone was great- 
ness ; that, in order rightly to estimate the worth of a 
man, his gold watch and equipage, liis title and station, 
must be deducted ; that a conformity to the customs 
of the world, when they clashed with the sound princi- 
ples of the gospel, or the strictest rules of morality, 
was not only a sin, but meanness of spirit. My father 
had read little and thought much ; and though some- 
what orthodox, yet he cared not whether his neigh- 
bour prayed kneeling or standing, if he prayed in the 
true spirit, or whether the psalm were in a minor or 
a major key, or performed in common or triple time, 
if sung, making melody in the heart to God. He hung 
no quakers, nor put any men in a corner of the church 
because they had a colored skin. He rebuked sin in 
high places with fearlessness, and forgave all personal 
injuries before forgiveness was asked. 

My mother remembered the poor, and entertained 
strangers ; hated oppression, scorned a mean act, and 
dealt justly by all. She taught me that in order to 
be healthy, I must rise early, and if I desired to take 
an honest breakfast with a proper relish, I must earn 
before eating it; that to find friends, I must show 


myself friendly ; that to live peaceably, I must allow 
my neighbours to go out and in, eat, drink, and dress 
when and how they liked ; always avoiding putting my 
head into a hornet s nest, if I would not be stung. 
" And when you are sent from home," she emphati- 
cally said, " conduct yourself well, and your good name 
will take care of itself ; always remembering that a 
character which requires lawyers and doctors, ministers 
and elders to look after it, is not worth a groat." 
With these principles in my head, if not in my heart, 
I was sent into the world, to make my way, through 
good and through evil report, as best I could. 

I looked out upon the seas ; the vessel was well 
under weigh, and the dizzy passengers had already 
begun to exclaim, " dear 1 1 am dreadfully sick." 

My chum now entered ; we were shut in — and, 
like or dislike, there was no alternative ; snugly packed 
as we were, there was no escape, and we immediately 
set ourselves about, as Eve's daughters are wont to do, 
ascertaining each other's pedigree, object, and destina- 
tion. I found her to be an Irish lady, born and bred 
in the city of Dublin, but she had passed five years in 
the city of New York, to which she had become greatly 
attached. She had left her husband and three children 
to go on business to Ireland, and though she cast many 
a ** longing, lingering look" back to them, yet she 
never forgot that she must do good unto all when 
opportunity presented, and she never neglected the 
performance of that duty, when necessity required it. 
Her tall and noble figure, her high open forehead, 
united with an unpretending though dignified manner, 
and the benevolence of her heart, which beamed in her 
placid eye, made her to me an object not only of in- 
terest, but of warm attachment. Often, when she 
returned to the berth from some errand of kindness 
among the sick and distressed, have I said in my 
heart, " Who would not love such an angel of 
mercy P' Thus was the beginning of my journey 
prosperous, and all anxiety for the morrow was ban- 
ished by the blessings of to-day. b 2 

4 THE VOYAGE. [chap. i. 

Our cabin companions consisted of the widow of a 
clergyman, wiUi her son and daughter, who were re- 
turning from New York to England, their native 
country ; an Irishman, who had spent the last twenty- 
five years in America, a naval officer, an editor from 
the United States (a genuine American), and the 
young Irish wife of the mate, on a visit to "her people." 
These, with one exception, gave more cause of praise 
than blame, and made me quite willing to balance 
accounts with them ail when we parted. 

Ail was quiet after the first wrenchings were past. 
On the third morning after our departure, the captain 
came up from the steerage, saying, " We have had a 
death on board." The wife of a Scotchman occupied 
the same berth with her son, a boy of thirteen. She 
went to bed the preceding evening in as good health 
as when she came on board, and she slept the sleep of 
death in the night. Her husband and another son of 
twenty were in a berth above them, and knew nothing 
<»>f the circumstance till the young boy awoke, and 
found his mother cold and stiff by his side« 

On descending the steerage stairs, I saw the accom- 
paniments of death as they never had been presented 
to my view before. The rough hands of the sailors 
were wrapping the slender body in hempen cloth, and 
fitting iron weights to the feet, to cause it to sink. The 
father and the eldest son looked silently, if not coldly 
on ; whilst the younger boy, in a flood of grief, was 
interrupted occasionally by the stern command of his 
father, to " hold his tongue." 

The body was placed on deck, and at twelve the 
captain assembled the crew, read some passages of 
Scripture, appropriate for the burial of the dead, prayed 
(for he was a man of prayer), and four sailors raised 
the board containing the body upon the railing of the 
deck, turning away their faces ; one dismal plunge was 
heard; the parted wave closed again, and all was 
hushed, save the suppressed sobs of the young son. The 
captain whispered, " the husband was not kind," and 
each turned to his monotony again. 


The voyage went quietly on. The captain assembled 
the crew as often as possible, for prayer and praise, 
and gave good proof that a ship may be a temple of 
worship, and that sailors may be treated as men, and 
be men still. There was no scolding, no flogging, and 
bat little swearing, to make us feel as if we were on 
board a slave-ship or a man-of-war. 

We had proceeded some eight days, when the widow's 
son, who had been in the navy, and had lost his health 
by his excesses, gave sad proof that 

** A soldier's anns, 
Through the vanity and brainless rage 
Of those that bear them, in whatever cause. 
Seem most at variance with all moral good." 

He was, at all hours of the night, either at the door 
of his mother and sister, demanding gin, or roving 
about the cabin with reddened eyes, declaring that his 
frenzied brain would make him mad. Sometimes he 
appeared suddenly in our midst, almost in a state of 
nudity, on deck, or at table ; till, like a maniac as he 
was, nothing but coercion could restrain him, and he 
died on a bright Sabbath morning while we were at 
breakfast; and before the sun had gone down upon the 
ship, the unfortunate young man was plunged beneath 
the waves. The mother and sister sat at a distance, 
while the prayer and burial went on, tearlessly viewing 
the last office for the dead, when, turning away, a low 
murmur from the mother was heard, ** Ah ! I could 
not save him." 

Twenty-one days took us into the Channel, and seven 
more of calm set our feet upon the dock at Liverpool, 
at a late hour of the night. The next took us to the 
custom- house, and there, to my happy disappointment, 
was demanded no duty, the officer kindly telling me 
that, as my books were for gratuitous distribution in 
Ireland, he regretted I had not a thousand more, and 
that he should make no charges. A tea-cup full of 
oatmeal stirabout and milk, a night's lodging in a dwell- 
ing contiguous to the hotel (for the talkative landlady 

6 KINGSTOWK. [chap. i. 

had her house full) made a charge of six English shil- 
lings, beside a six-pence each to two servants, neither 
of whom had I seen till I stood at the door to depart. 

At two o'clock I took the packet for Ireland ; and 
when 1 stood upon the plank which was to conduct me 
on deck, and looked upon the loved face of her who 
had been my never-tiring companion on the voyage, 1 
longed that I might meet in a land of strangers a heart 
like hers. She returned to go to Cork, and we have 
never met since. 

"We shall remember this voyage," was the last sen- 
tence from her lips that fell on my ear. 

" You have parted with a friend," said a solitary 
woman, " and are you a stranger ?" 

This was a welcome sound, and a few moments* 
conversation told me that the law of kindness had not 
died on the lips of her who had just left me. 

A tempestuous night made the sea-sick inmates of 
of the crowded cabin wish for the day, for there was 
not a comfort or convenience to be had; and when the 
bright morning dawned, it brought the unpleasant 
intelligence that we should not see Dublin till the tide 
should come in, which would be five in the evening. 
But we had neared the bay, and were in sight of the 
enchanting harbour, granite buildings, and green 
sloping hiUs of Kingstown. 

" I have travelled much," said an intelligent gentle- 
man, " but have never found any thing surpassing the 
beauty of the bay of Dublin and the Cove of Cork." 
This bay was in my eye ; and I was in it. Yes ! the 
sea was behind me, and the fair Emerald Isle, with the 
motley assemblage of beautiful and painful objects, was 
before me. I gave myself to rummaging the scanty 
knowledge I had of Ireland, to ascertain whether I 
knew any thing tolerable of its true condition and 
character, and what did I know ? 

I knew that between the parallels of 5 1 and 55 of 
north latitude there is a little green spot in the ocean, 
defended from its surging waves by bold defying rocks ; 
that over this rock are^^sprinkled mountains, where 


sparkle the diamond and where sleep the precious 
atone ; glens, where were the rich foliage and the 
pleasant flower, and where the morning song of the 
hird is blending with the playful rill ; that through its 
valleys and hill sides were imbedded the gladdening 
fuel and the rich mine ; that over its lawns and wooded 
parks were skipping the light-footed fawn and bound- 
ing deer ; that in its fat pastures were grazing the 
proud steed and the noble ox; that on its heathy 
mountain slopes the nimble goat and the more timid 
sheep find their food. I knew that proud castles and 
monasteries, palaces and towers, tell to the passer-by 
that here kings and chieftains struggled for dominion, 
and priests and prelates contended for religion ; and 
that the towering steeple, and the more holy cross, 
still say that the instinct of worship yet lives — that 
here the incense of prayer and the song of praise 
continue to go up. I knew that no venomous serpent 
is lying in the path of the weary traveller, and that 
the purest breezes of heaven are wafted from moun- 
tain-top to lowly valley, giving health and vigour 
to the life-blood, and causing the '* inhabitants of the 
rock to sing." 

And I had been told, that over this fair landscape 
hangs a dark curtain of desolation and death ; that the 
harp of Erin lies untouched, save by the finger of 
sorrow, to tell what music was once in her strings ; 
that the pipe and the dance are only aroused like the 
last brightening of the flickering lamp, as it ceases for 
ever ; that the tear is on her cheek — she sits desolate, 
and no good Samaritan passes that way, to pour in the 
oil and wine of consolation. Lover and friend are put 
far from her, and she is a hissing and bye-word to those 
who should lift her up ; and she has long reaped down 
the fields of the rich, while she has tasted none of 
their " pleasant bread." Small as this little fund of 
knowledge might be, I almost regretted that I had 
heard the tale of her woes, lest a morbid sympathy 
should dim the true light, and lead me to stumble, if 
not wholly to wander from the right path. 

A lady from Liverpool, whose sable weeds and care - 

KINGSTOWN. [chap. i. 

worn cheeks told that she was a child of sorrow, pro- 
posed that, as we were alone, and must pass the day 
together, we might goon shore, and visit the monument 
erected to King George. We had read the names of 
the lords and earls who erected it, examined the prints 
of the shoes cut in marble at the foot, where his king- 
ship stood when he visited it, and had seated ourselves 
upon a block of marble, and there concluded to go 
into the railroad office, purchase tickets for Dublin, 
and leave our luggage to follow us in the packet. 
Putting my hand into my pocket to get a shilling for 
mj ticket, I missed my pocket-book ; this pocket-book 
contained all valuables of purse and scrip, and not a 
farthing had I out of it. My character, as far as letters 
of introduction might go, had gone to the winds ; but 
as I expected to pay no lodging or travelling fees 
by it, the money was the great concern. This was a 
sad landing indeed on a foreign shore, where I had 
already seen so many asking alms, that I could not 
hope much for my share. A " horror of darkness" 
came over me, and while I stood petrified, the good 
woman set off at full speed towards the block of granite, 
where we had been sitting. I moped at a distance, 
muttering, "It will do no good," while all the sage 
counsels given me in New York, of being among 
strangers, unprotected, alone, unknown, and uncared 
for, like spectres stood in array. My kind helper 
reached the fatal block, but no pocket-book was there. 
« There, I told you so." « What will you do ?" Then 
for a few moments we mingled our sorrows; she 
had tasted deeply of worldly afflictions, and could only 
say, " If you have no money, you have no friends." 
At that moment an aged pilgrim, in ragged garb, 
called from a distance, " Have you lost anything ?" 
« Yes, a pocket-book." « What color ?" « Dark red." 
" I have found one, but have not opened it." 

Did not I love the old man ? and when I gladly put 
a bit into his hand, was I not thrice thankful that I 
had lost it, because it put a piece of bread into the 
mouth of an honest child of want, and thankful that I 


had found it for my own benefit ; and then the find- 
ing it had given so early a proof of Irish honesty ; 
for one of the dreadful predictions of my fate was, that 
if I was not murdered outright, I should certainly be 

We heard the car, and no time must be lost. On 
examination, I found that in pursuit of my pocket- 
book, I had lost my ticket ; ran into the office, paid 
for another, and lost my keys. After considerable 
bustle I found them, and then commenced regulating 
government affairs a little, because the railway clerk 
required a second shilling for a second ticket. << I am 
obliged to do so, madam — another person might find 
it, and get the ride ; you have found your pocket-book, 
and should be contented." I saw my mistake, and 
determined to learn better manners in future. 

Dublin was the next encounter, and a lodging-place 
the first concern. A gentleman in Liverpool had given 
me the name of a respectable lady, but her rooms were 
occupied. But learning that I was an American 
stranger, and recommended by a friend, she managed 
so as to deposit me comfortably till I could do better. 
For a moment all was as I wished ; the modest unpre- 
tending looks of the lady, and the unostentatious ap- 
pearance of comfort, promised a pleasant resting-place 
from the storms I had just left. 

Not so. " It is the little foxes that spoil the vines." 
Trifles are the busy ants that are constantly building 
our molehills of evil and good, showing what and how 
we are in the true light. They are the pole-star that 
guides us, and the thermometer by which the daily 
temperature may be well ascertained. 

The brother, who was master of the house, came in 
to his dinner, and set all adrift. << She must go to a 
hotel ; if she has come to visit Ireland, she will want 
such attendance as we cannot give." In vain the kind 
sister expostulated, begging him to read my good 
letters of introduction. " She must go to a hotel," was 
the alpha and omega ; and when the good woman with 
a sorrowful face brought the message, my disappoint- 


10 DUBLIN. [chap. 

ment placed the whole account to the uncompromising 
disposition of unfeeling old bachelors. 

The "attendance 1 should want** was aftprwards 
ludicrously illustrated, oftentimes, in Connaughtand the 
wild mountains of the coast ; when I found myself 
sitting in company with a ragged family, around a 
basket of potatoes, taking the " lumper*' from my hand. 

" What will you do ? will you step across the way, 
where lodgers are accommodated, and take my name ?" 
I did so, and here found single blessedness exemplified 
in two maiden ladies ; and when the stern unyielding 
negative was given, " Surely," thought I, "Dublin must 
be the deposit where all haters of matrimony resort, to 
vent their spleen against " upstart married ladies," and 
" saucy dirty urchins." 

Night was approaching, my luggage a mile and a-half 
from me, and it was Saturday ; the kind stranger, who 
sympathised so deeply at the misfortune of the pocket- 
book, had called to accompany me to the packet, with a 
car to procure our luggage, but I had no home but the 
street, and where could I take it ? 

A servant that moment entered and said, " A house 
not far distant can give you a room." I went, and was 
received ; the happy kind woman was thus opportunely 
relieved from the dread of " offending God," by dis- 
pleasing her brother. 

The kind lady procured a car, and accompanied me 
to the packet, much fearing that I should doubt Irisb 
hospitality, though she had fed me when I first entered 
the house. She then returned to the door of my new 
lodgings, to see that all was safe, and bade me a kind 
good night. 

My room was a back parlour on the first floor, rather 
gloomy ; all the arrangements were different from my 
own home, and it was the first night in Ireland. My 
head was pillowed, but my brain took liberties which 
it never has ventured upon since ; for when it had 
thrown off the scum occasioned by the first day's fer- 
mentation, the pool became quiescent. 

Monday,, — The lady who first entertained me went 

CHAP. I.] DUBLIN. 1 1 

out to show me a little of the city, and Cole River 
View, where my letter of introduction was to be de- 
livered. This letter of introduction, by the way, was 
no small item in the account, for I was assured by the 
Irish gentlewoman in New York who presented it, 
that it would introduce me to all the Protestants in 
Dublin of the better class ; but as the poor and the 
peasantry were the objects of my visit to the country, 
I commenced my acquaintance that morning by saluting 
as many of these as I could on the way. 

The rich scenery, heightened by a pleasant sun, 
threw around a lustre upon all about me, which kept, 
my imagination awake, diffusing a cheerfulness to the 
poor labourer, which made bis burden more light ; for 
in Ireland it may emphatically be said, "a merry heart 
doeth good like a medicine" — the merry burst of wit 
following the hasty brush of the tear from the eye, is 
always a happy transition, not only to him who 
sheds that tear, but to the sympathising looker-on. 
God, who knew what Ireland would suffer, made it so, 
and God does all things well. 

We reached the tasty cottage to which my letter was 
directed, but the person who should break the seal was 
absent, and we were invited to call again. 

The cabins were my centre of attraction, as I had 
never before seen a thatched roof, an earthen floor, or the 
manner of cabin house-keeping. I saw new things, 
and if I found nothing to imitate, I always found some- 
thing to admire. The first we entered was cleanly ; 
the dishes tastefully arranged upon a white cupboard, 
and a family of young girls in cleanly garb. And had 
I visited no other, I might have written a romantic 
tale on the bright pots and buckets of the Irish pea- 
santry. They were employed in a sail-cloth factory. 
The next we saw was a pitiful reverse. A slender, 
discouraged* looking man was sitting on a stool in one 
comer ; a sickly-looking mother, with four ragged 
children, in another ; all waiting the boiling of a pot 
of potatoes, which certainly fell short of the three 

12 DUBLIN. [chap. i. . 

pounds and-a half allowed to each man in the poor- 

" Do your children go to school, sir ?" 
" No, ma'am ; we could not get them clothes to be 
. daeent on the street. I work at blaichin', ma'am : I 
have eight shillings a week, and pay five poupds for the 
cabin, without a fut of land." 

I deducted the five pounds from the twenty pounds 
sixteen shillings, leaving him fifteen pounds sixteen 
shillings to feed, clothe, and warm six beings ; and in 
fact I could not find many sovereigns left for their 
education. This being my first arithmetical calcula- 
tion on Irish labour and economy, I was at a loss to 
understand how the thing could be possible ; but having 
since seen many things stranger than these, I am 
prepared to believe in what once would have appeared a 
little short of miraculous. 

Wednesday, — I was requested to call on Dr. M. Our 
interview ended in a favourable manner, for though he 
gave me but two fingers, and a long formal bow, instead 
of the hearty Irish grasp of the hand, yet he became 
talkative when I told him my object, and said I had 
chosen the only way to come at the truth ; for Ireland 
had been wholly misrepresented by writers who had 
only looked at the surface of things. He took out his 
map, showed me the best route through the country, 
gave me some valuable information respecting the con- 
dition of the peasantry, and requested me to keep in 
vieiv the condition of servants, as far as I could do so 
without prjring interference. He recommended me to 
notice their sleeping apartments, and to see how many 
I should find wholesome and comfortable for human 
beings to lodge in through the night. 

To my sorrow, in going through the south of Ireland, 
Ifound his words verified not only in the case of servants' 
lodging, but their food ; eating their potatoes morning 
and night, when the master and mistress were abun- 
dantly blessed with the good things of this life. 

Thursday. — I called on Mr. Fleming, a temperance 


man, who asked me, "Have you really come to see the 
poor of Ireland, and do you expect or want any great 
dinners got up for you?" he asked. Assuring him that 
I neither wanted great dinners, nor great people to 
flatter me, he answered, "Be assured if you have 
come to see the poor, the rich will have nothing to say 
to you ; and dont be disappointed if they not only treat 
you with neglect, but say many wrong things about 

Friday, — ^Visited the annual exhibition of the arts ; 
and saw some specimens of taste beyond what I had 
anticipated. The bog oak of Ireland (which is found 
buried in the earth) when polished, and made into 
many articles of taste, is a beautiful specimen not only 
of the skill of the mechanic, but of the richness of this 
neglected island in its bowels as well as upon its sur- 
£ELce. Here were chairs, tables, and small fancy 
articles of the most exquisite beauty, which were made 
from this wood. Among its highest ornaments was a 
standing "Father Mathew administering the pledge to a 
peasant,'' both as large as life ; the peasant kneeling. 
The complacent look of the kind apostle of temperance 
is a happy illustration of the " peace and good will to 
men," which mark the footsteps of this imassuming 
man, wherever they can be traced. 

Saturday, — Was introduced into the Linen Hall; 
here is a sad memento of Ireland's blighted prospects 
of her once proud manufacture of this useful article. 
The desolated Hall, with its appendages, which once 
included two acres of ground, now and then in some 
dusty room shows a sack or two of linen, and in some 
dark hall a few piles of linsey-woolsey. Here was the 
son of an old inheritor of some of these rooms, when, 
in its glory, its coffee room was thronged with men of 
business, now standing almost alone in its midst, sell- 
ing linen, to tell the enquirer what it once was. 

My next visit was to the Poor House, for I had 
heard much of their well-managed laws from all but 
beggars, who gave them no share in their affections. 
The house contained one thousand seven hundred 

14 DUBLIN. [chap. i. 

persons of all ages, and all who were able were at work 
or in school. The rooms were well ventilated, and 
the floors daily washed. The aged appeared as com- 
fortable as care and attention could make them. One 
old lady was pointed to us who was a hundred and 
six years old; she could read without glasses, and 
had the use of all her faculties. The dinner-hour 
was near ; three pounds and a-half of potatoes were 
poured from a net upon the table for each individual ; 
fingers supplied the place of knives and forks, and 
the dexterity of a company of urchins, in divesting 
the potato of its coat, and dabbing it into the salt 
upon the table, caused me imprudently to say, " I am 
happy, my lads» to see you so pleasantly employed." 
' Silence' was written upon the walls, but this unlucky 
remark of mine changed the suppressed titter into a 
laugh, and the unfortunate wights were turned into 
the yard, in spite of all mediation on my part, as being 
the aggressor. But the loud laugh and buoyant leap 
of these boys testified that the loss of a dinner could 
not bring sadness into the heart of these merry Irish 

The most admirable arrangement was shown in the 
beds, which were made of straw, and emptied every 
month, and clean straw substituted. The straw taken 
out is cut up, and flung into a large pit; the suds from 
the laundry are then conveyed to it by a channel, and 
it is thus converted into a rich manure. The yearly 
profit from this plan is from £130 to £140 ; this is a 
great economy, beside the advantage of cleanliness to 
the inmates. This manure is sold for the benefit of the 
institution, and a multitude of swine are fattened on 
the offals of the food, and are sold for the same pur- 
pose. Twice a week soup is given, and stirabout and 
buttermilk in the morning ; the aged and invalids have 
bread and tea when required. 

Letters of introduction I greatly dislike, for two 
reasons. They place two parties in a constrained 
position ; the individual who presents the letter feels a 
kind of dread lest he may be thought a burdensome extra 


appendage, which, if received, will only be out of 
complaisance to the friend who sent the letter. The 
person who receives it may feel that, though he respects 
the friend that sent it, yet it comes in the very time 
when it should not, when all was hurry of business ; 
and how can time be lost in showing picture galleries, 
and making pic-nics ? Beside, the mistress may have 
a bad servant, the house may be in disorder, and one 
night's lodging would turn a room or two topsy turvy, 
and often the visitor is politely handed over to some 
neighbour as a compliment, for a fresh introduction. 
I have so often been peddled about as a second-hand 
article in this way, that I have now letters of introduc- 
tion of years old, which I never have presented, and 
never shall. 

Believing that the actors alone in the foUowang tra- 
gedy will be the only persons who will understand who 
I mean, I shall not spare to tell the whole truth. I 
had promised to accompany the young ladies home 
from church, and dine with them, when the letter of 
introduction was left ; I did so, and was introduced to 
a spot where the style of house and lands showed them 
to be a vestige of an aristocratic race. The parent 
had gone down to the dust, leaving a son and three 
daughters on the paternal estate, with all the insignia 
of comfort around them. They were of the Estab- 
lished Church, lofty in their views, great haters of the 
low Irish, and quite careful that the Apostle's injunc- 
tions should be religiously observed, where servants 
are required to " be obedient to their masters." 

" I receive you," said the sister to whom the letter 
was directed, "on the strength of the note you brought; 
but I must be candid in saying, I am not partial to the 
Americans, because they keep up no distinction of 
rank, and eat with their servants." 

Dinnerwas soon brought, when a maiden lady, whose 
age had been stationary probably for the last twenty 
years, was introduced. This lady had seen enough of 
the world to make her vain, possessed enough of its 
wealth to make her proud, and had religion enough ta 

16 DUBLIN. [chap. i. 

make her a boasting pharisee. I soon knew I had 
much to fear and little to gain, for she called for a new 
bottle of wine to be opened, as the doctor told her she 
must always use a little at her dinner, or brandy, if 
she preferred it ; for she was bilious. " See, madam,** 
said she to me, '< our Saviour made wine, as the mar- 
riage could not be celebrated without it; and Paul said 
to Timothy, ' Use a little wine for your often infirmi- 
ties/ Do you see, madam, God has made all these 
things for our comfort" — taking a glass with much relish 
at the same time. Seeing me decline a plate of flesh, 
**What! dont't you take meat? Have the doctors told 
you it's bad for you ? Why, do you know that meat 
was given on purpose for the benefit of man ?" Here 
followed an unbroken lecture on the creation, the com- 
mand given to Adam, to controul the beasts of the 
field, the fowls of the air, and the fish of the sea, and 
make them his food. Then the practice of our Sa- 
viour. " So you see, madam, I have the Bible at my 
tongue's end ; and here's Miss W — , a good christian, 
a church-going woman. Come now, don't go to church 
to-night. You came from America, and can tell us 
much about it. This would do us more good than a 
sermon. Come, come, what do you say to all this ?" 

Not a word had been uttered to interrupt this pell- 
mell volubility, when the presiding sister said, " Mrs. 
N. is a disciple of Mr. Graham, and perhaps would 
give us a little lecture on flesh eating." " O !" cried 
the antiquated heroine, clapping her hands, " that's it — 
that's the thing — that's the thing I" Sipping her wine 
again, " Come," nodding her head, " you may make a 
convert of me ; come, I'm ready. Now begin. Hear, 
hear I" The uproar became quite theatrical, for all 
joined in the chorus of " Hear, hear ! Begin, begin I" 
To give a little rebuke, but more to make an honoura- 
ble escape, I asked, " How do you spend your sabbaths ? 
Perhaps something else would be better." All with 
one voice cried out, '* Give us a lecture — a bible lec- 
ture on flesh eating — now ! now ! and we will be all 
attention." The lecture commenced, when soon the 


whole four pounced upon me, and with one vociferous 
tumult) crying and clapping their hands, and the chief 
speaker exclaiming, ^ Now ! now I we have got it — 
Hear ! hear I Why now, you must be a fool, or out 
of your mind. I thought you were in a decline, you 
looked so emaciated and so woe-begone. 

In self-defence I was obliged to say, " You will 
excuse me from making any attempts to proceed. I 
sincerely think the lady who has been speaking must 
be insane, or half intoxicated." This finished the battle ; 
the ridicule was turned into rage ; I left the table, 
followed by the youngest sister, and we both went into 
the garden. Apologising for the warmth of the lady, 
she said, << you must know that she is highly respecta- 
ble." " But lacks good breeding," I continued. " No 
indeed," rejoined th^miss. 

The eldest sister made the same apologies in essence, 
and I remarked, that the conduct I had seen to-day in 
this house would have disgraced the lowest American 
table, even where servants might be permitted to take 
a seat ! I then took my bonnet and shawl, made my 
salaam, and departed. 

This, reader, was my first letter of introduction, and 
it was a letter which, when given me in New York, I 
was assured was the very one that would introduce me 
into the first Protestant society in Dublin. 

Truly, I never had spent the hours of a sabbath so 
profanely in my life. I was vexed at myself, and dis- 
gusted with the spider-web education of females in the 
higher walks of life; but I was not discouraged; 
neither did I rail at all Ireland, or tax her fair daugh- 
ters with being the most affected, the most impudent, 
and the most ignorant of all others. I have not found 
it so, though this specimen in a family of high preten- 
tions was then and still is a problem quite difficult to 

On Wednesday morning I walked with a young lady 
to the Phoenix Park. On our way we met many in- 
teresting things, which made me enquire, who shall 
heal the wounds of bleeding, dying Ireland ? So far 


as taste of man and nature's best skill could make it, 
every spot is full of interest, but every pleasant object 
in Ireland is dashed with some dark shade, which 
defaces, if it does not entirely put out, the beauties of 
the picture. In my pleasant morning walks in the 
land of my fathers, I had never been accustomed to 
meet the pale-faced dejected mother, and the ragged 
child, begging " a halfpenny for a bit of bread." This 
morning a modest-looking woman approached with a 
basket of oranges, and without giving her the pain of 
a refusal, I said, *< I am sorry, ma'am, I have not a 
penny to buy an orange." I then asked, 

" Have you a family ?" 

" Yes, ma'am ; and their father's been dead this 
eight months^ and they are all helpless around my 

" Have you been to breakfast ?** 

" No, ma'am, I come out to get a bit, if I could sell 
a little of these. A morsel will not cross the lips of 
one of us till it is bought by these." 

" How much do you make a day ?" 

" Sometimes sixpence, but moretimes not so much." 

"As I passed on, "sometimes sixpence, but more 
times not so much," sounded in my ears ; and yet this 
to Dublin ears would scarcely be called a cry of dis- 
tress, or the speaker an object of compassion. And 
often have I been answered, when pleading for the 
poor, " What's that? They are used to it." " Used 
to it I" The longer the poor have suffered, and the 
lower they have fallen, the more haste should be made 
to rescue them. 

As I returned, the novel inscription of " Asylum 
FOR Unmarried Ladies," on the plate of a door, at- 
tracted my attention ; and I begged the privilege of 
visiting it. I found this was an institution for single 
females of respectable character, who were advanced 
in life, whose means were limited. Here they are pro- 
vided with shelter, fuel, lights, and furniture ; twenty- 
one females, with every comfort that order and clean- 
liness could bestow, were here. Each manages hec 


own affairs, such as cooking and taking care of her 
clothes, as she chooses, — as much so as if in her own 
house ; and such as are able are expected to pay 2s. 6d. 
per week. This makes them feel an independence 
which persons in all grades are fond of claiming. 
Titjy great pitj, that bachelors are not taxed with all 
these expenses, for they above all other men demand 
the most attention from females when age advances. 
This institution was formed by two or three young 
females, and much credit do they deserve for their 
laudable undertaking. May they find as good a shel- 
ter if they shall ever need one 1 


Dialogues with the Poor— An English Prophecy— Clontarf 
Castle— Plan for the Relief of the Destitute— A Dying Saint 
— Journey to Tullamore — ^Family Affliction— Visits to the 
Poor — The Jail — The Poorhouse — Irish Beggars— A Scene 
on leaving Tullamore— Return to Dublin — Extraordinary 
Spectacle on the Road — Connaught Labourers — The Two 
Convicts — A Man's Merit cannot be judged by his Coat — 
Another Visit to the Dying — ^A Military Congregation. 

" Come, ladies, the morning is sunny. You have 
taken your tea, and a little excursion into the outskirts, 
where the air is free and balmy, will do you good. A 
kind look and word to the poor of this world would 
cost but little, and it might resuscitate some dying 
hope, and wipe some falling tear from the widow's or 
orphan's eye." I must go alone, and my first letter of 
introduction meeting such a sad repulse, I fortunately 
substituted " American stranger." It was a day of in- 
terest, not because I was in a great city, not because 
I saw squalid poverty in every street, but because I 
saw this poverty standing out in a kind of self-pos- 
sessed freedom, which seemed to say, " Though I am 
divested of my beauty, though I am shorn of my 
strength, there is in me a germ of life that shall one 
day come forth." Its very antiquity commanded re- 

20 DUBLIN. [chap n. 

spect. " Do you think," said a grey hair'd old man, 
" that Ireland will ever see a good day ? Though 
my ould eyes will never see it, my children's may ; 
for God is good." 

He was leaning upon a wall, covered with rags of 
various colours, yet cheerful and uncomplaining. 

" And what, sure, sent you here ? " cried a wretched 
looking woman, bearing a little mug of beer. *' You 
must be going astray in yer mind to leave so fine a 
country. The Irish are all kilt, ma'am. They can get 
no work and no bread." 

" But why do you buy this beer if you have no 
bread ?" 

" Ah ! I've a pain in the liver, and it's for my 
strength I take it." 

" Where do you live ?" 

" I dont live no where ; I'm only strugglin' to get 
my bit ;" at the same time sitting upon the ground, and 
saying to herself, "God save her, the cratur, she's 
goin' astray in her mind." 

I went into cabins of filth, and I went into cabins of 
the greatest cleanliness, whose white-washed walls and 
nicely scoured stools said that " she that looketh well 
to the ways of her household" lives here. All ages 
saluted me as the American stranger, and said one, 
** Ye'r a wonderful body ; and did you come alone ? 
Oh ! America is a beautiful country, and if I was there 
I would get the mate." Seeing a repeal button in the 
coat of a man standing by his car, I enquired, " Do you 
find employment, sir ?" 

" But little, ma'am ; I suffer much, and get little. 
O'Connell has worked hard for us, and is now in jail. 
I'm waitin' here for a job, and the thief of a fellow 
wont get on to my car with my repeal button in sight. 
But I will wear it. Oh 1 the country's dyin' ; it's 
starvin' ; it's kilt. And O'Connell wont let us fight, 
and I 'spose that's the best way." 

A cleanly woman, knitting upon a wall, told me she 
was English ; had been in Dublin a year ; her health 
was poor, and she had come out for an airing. <*But oh! 

CHAP, n.] DUBLIN. 21 

these miserable beggars. They think they shall get 
• free ; but England is so grabbing they never wiU ; 
and besides, there is an ancient prophecy that England 
is to fight and conquer the whole world, and give them 
all the gospel/* 

** Where did you find this prophecy ?" 

« They say it's in the bible." 

** To what church do you belong ?" 

" To the Protestant." 

*< You should read the bible for yourself, and see if 
you can find such a prophecy." 

" I've a prayer-book" — 

Leaving this learned theologian, I found a woman 
sitting upon a stone, with a basket of gooseberries by 
her side, from which she had sold but three halfpence 
farthing's worth since the preceding morning. 

" I have three children to feed," said she, " and God 
knows how I can do it ; when they were babies around 
my feet, I could feed 'em, and put decent clothes on 
their bodies ; but now I can get no work." 

For a halfpenny she poured twice the value into my 
bag, which I refused ; when, with the tear in her eye, 
she said, " You would give more if you had it, and you 
speak a kind word to the poor ; and what's a handful 
of gooseberries ?" Turning to the old men who were 
breaking stones, I said to them, '< You are aged, and 
how much do you have for this labour ?" 

" Sixpence ha'penny a day, ma'am." 

«' Is that all ?" 

** Ah ! that is better than idleness," said the younger, 
" and my wife gets a job now and then which helps us 
a Httle." 

Clontarf Castle was now in sight ; at its gate was a 
surly porter rudely abusing a poor woman for entering 
its enclosure. The reader may be reminded that a 
faded dress, tittered shoes, and weather-beaten bonnet 
have no right through the gate of any gentleman's 
estate ; and looking about upon my own, at the same 
time using my pass-word, I hoped a more ready en- 
trance would be granted. 

22 DUBLIN. [chap. n. 

" I am sorry, ma'am, I cannot let you in, as you are 
an American ; but none can enter without a pass." 

" Your master, sir, has a splendid estate, but I should 
prefer being a little poorer than the steward of all 

" Not I : if the rich can't be happy, I dont know 
who can. Why, this man has his coach-and-four, his 
horses for hunting, his good dinners and wine, and 
what has he but comfort P* 

" But, sir, a good conscience is better than all this." 

" What have we to do with that ? We're all born, 
but we aint all buried ; and what's behind there is 
nothing to us." 

The associations about the castle were such, that my 
disappointment was considerable, that I would not be 
admitted. Colman's graphic description of a battle 
fought there in the year 1014, which was more than 
awful, had left upon me such an impression, that I 
wished much to see the spot. A little girl, filthy and 
ragged, carrying a dirty cloth containing a few raw 
potatoes, approached with a courtesy, saying, ** Lady, 
I am very hungry ; I hav'nt had one mouthful to eat 
since yesterday morning." 

" Do you tell me the truth ?" 

« I do, lady." 

Her voice faltered, and a gush of tears relieved her. 

" I have no father or mother, and live with a grand- 
mother by the bridge. The good folks, ma'am, have 
certainly gone out of this world. They hunt me from 
their doors, and hav'nt given me one morsel to-day." 

" And have you had no breakfast to-day ?" 

" Not so much as would fill a bird's eye, lady ; I tell 
ye the truth." 

She kept close to me, and continued chattering in 
the most simple manner, and wondering what ailed the 
world, and what would become of her, saying, " O, I m 
80 hungry !" 

In the evening, I sat down "to gather up the frag- 
ments" of the day. I had seen painful things, I had 
seen pleasant things, and though all were common 

CHAP, n.] DUBLIN. 23 

events, yet out of the varied materials, I had put 
up this little parcel as worthy a second reviewal. 
**What ought to be done can be done." This ig- 
norance, this hunger, this patient double-distilled 
misery sit with a bad grace on a benevolent Christian 
city like Dublin. But you answer, *< It was always so, 
and always will be." 

Suppose fifty ladies in the city, who have leisure, 
should go out at ten in the morning, and mingle pro- 
miscuously with the poor upon the street, take their 
number, ascertain who is worthy, and who is unworthy ; 
who need instruction, and who will receive it ; who 
are idle from necessity, and who from choice ; who 
can do one kind of work, and who another, and who 
can do nothing at all ; who are old, and who are sickly ; 
who can go to a place of worship, and who cannot, &c. 
By four o'clock in the afternoon each lady could ascer- 
tain the true condition of twenty persons at least, 
making in all a thousand, who might be truly deserv- 
ing, and who, with a little assistance of work and ne- 
cessaries, would soon be placed beyond want. But be 
careful that the payment be a full equivalent. Nothing 
gives the industrious honest poor man more encourage- 
ment than this ; it makes him hope ; he sees something 
tangible before him ; he sees he may yet have a decent 
garment and n comfortable meal, independent of his 
rent ; and he feels that he may sleep without the 
dreadful torment of a debtor's pillow. Let this going 
out into the " high-ways and hedges" be continued, and 
how many disconsolate hearts could be lifted up ; how 
many tears would be wiped from the cheek of the 
orphan, and how many blessings from the lips of those 
who are ready to perish would be poured forth. This 
has been done, and can be done again. Dublin stands 
nobly prominent in her charitable institutions ; there 
are none, save the poor sail<>r, but have a place in 
her kind provisions for the destitute ; still there is 
much land to be possessed. 

Mondayy July, — In company with a young lady, 
visited the cabin of a poor dying saint. She stood on 

24 TULLAMORE. [chap. ii. 

that narrow neck of land between the two worlds, 
which to the poor sinner is a fearful position, but to 
her it was like the last step to land from a tempes- 
tuous voyage, where she would meet her best kindred. 
Her earthly friends had forsaken her, because she had 
left the Romish church, and though griping poverty 
was pinching her five little ones, and she must leave 
them to a selfish world, yet she said, " I have not one 
anxious thought about them. Jesus," she emphati- 
cally added, " does all things well ; and last night he 
gave me such a cluster of light, that the whole room 
was enlightened by his presence ; and soon, yes, soon 
I shall see him as he is." How has Christ honoured 
poverty, and how he delights to dwell with the poor 
and contrite I 

Tuesday^ July 2nd. — Must leave for Tullamore. I 
bad removed my lodgings from the first kind house 
where I stopped, and had found in the second all that 
hospitality which is so congenial to a stranger, and 
was becoming much attached to Dublin ; but rest was 
not my errand to Ireland, and the kind daughters of 
the family accompanied me at seven in the morning to 
the fly -boat, where I was packed as tight as live 
stock could be in any but a slave ship. Here I found 
a company of would-be intelligent Irish and English 
aristocrats, who, on " both sides of the house," were pro- 
fessed enemies to the poor Irish, calling them a com- 
pany of low, vulgar, lazy wretches, who prefer beg- 
gary to work, and filth to cleanliness. How much of 
this may be true I pretend not to decide, but this may 
be safely hazarded, that it is an established law of our 
nature to hate those we oppress. The American slave- 
holder, while he keeps his foot upon the slave, despises 
him for his degradation, and while he withholds a 
knowledge of letters, and closes the bible against him, 
hates him because he is ignorant and a heathen. In 
eight hours we reached Tullamore, a distance of fifty 
miles, and the first novelty was the market-place. 

The appearance of the people here was not prepos- 
sessing, for there was not one among them decently 


______^ '_ 

clady and every thing indicated that a last effort had 
been made to set off the merchandise to the best ad- 
vantage, while the looks of the seller seemed to say, 
** We have toiled all day, and caught nothing." 

A son of the lady to whom I had letters, conducted 
me to the terrace, and as the letters were from her 
daughter in America, I expected a cordial reception, 
and was not disappointed. Tinctured a little with 
aristocracy, well educated, and disciplined by family 
disappointments, her mind had become chastened, and 
she appeared as if struggling to support an independ- 
ence which a heart sinking under silent grief could 
not long sustain. The children were well trained, and 
had been educated mostly at home by herself. Her 
husband was of a good family, and had speculated her 
property away, and as the last resource fled to that 
** house of refuge," America ; and an absence of three 
years, without sending her any relief, left suspicions 
on her mind that all was not well. I had seen her 
daughter in New York, who had followed her father 
thither, and she begged me to search out the family in 
Ireland, and do what I could to comfort her mother. 
My errand was a painful one, — family troubles can 
seldom be mitigated by foreign legislation ; and while 
this noble minded afflicted woman made full, meaning, 
but indirect inquiries, her voice faltered, the tear 
was in her eye, and for a moment I regretted that I 
had complied with her daughter's request. Her well- 
regulated family being assembled around the family 
altar, she read an appropriate prayer with practical 
observations, adding suitable ones of her own, which 
made the devotions pleasant to me, for it savored of a 
heart that had been made better by the things it had 
been called to suffer. 

The next morning, the twin daughters of eleven 
years accompanied me into a lane to see the poor. 
Here I found these lovely girls had long been ac- 
quainted, for they inquired of a poor old man about 
tiie growth of a pig, and kindly patted the well known 
pets of donkeys, goats, and dogs, calling them all by 

26 TULLAMORE. [chap. n. 

name, while the mistress went into the garden to pluck 
a bouquet for the fine girls, who, she assured me, were 
the smartest in the parish. 

I had always heard the Irish were celebrated for 
giving the pig an eminent birth in their cabins, and 
was a little disappointed to find that though it was 
really so, yet there was some nicety of arrangement 
in all this ; for in two cabins I found a pig in a corner 
snugly cribbed, with a lattice-work around him, a bed 
of clean straw under him, and a pot of food standing 
near the door of his house, to which he might go out 
and in at option. And in both these huts, though the 
floors were nothing but the ground, yet these were 
well swept; a peat fire was smouldering on clean 
hearths, and the delf was tastefully arranged upon the 
rude shelves. An old cobbler sat with his lap-stone, 
and said he could make one and six and one and ten 
pen6e a day, and he took care of the bit of ground at 
the rere of his cabin for the rent of it. " My wife, 
praise be to God, is dead, but I can get a comfortable 
bit for my children." An old blind man of seventy- 
two, sitting at the door of his cabin, thanked God that 
he had no right to complain, though he had seen bet- 
ter days ; for he had " two kind girls, who, when they 
had done all in and out of the cabin, got little jobs now 
and then, which kept the bread in all their mouths." 
On looking into the cabin, nothing could be cleaner. 
Here, too, the family pig was snoring snugly in his 
crib in one comer of the room; and here, in all 
justice, I must say that these pigs were well dis- 
ciplined, for when one of them attempted to thrust his 
nose into a vessel not belonging to him, he was called 
a dirty pig, and commanded to go to his own kettle, 
which he did as tamely as a child or a dog would have 

Another cabin attracted us by the tidy white aprons 
upon two little girls who were standing at the door, 
and their nicely attired mother, with clean cap and 
handkerchief, who welcomed me heartily to Ireland. 
On my commending her for her cleanliness, she said. 


" Plase God, poor folks should be a little tidy who 
have nothing else to set 'em off. vWould ye walk into 
the garden ? May be ve'd like a rose or two." We wil- 
lingly complied, and round an acre of kitchen garden 
weU cultivated, with a few flowers interspersed, which 
they rented for nine pounds, and sold the avails for 
the support of the family. She plucked her fairest 
roses and ripest gooseberries, and bade me God speed, 
long life, and a safe return to my own country. 

I returned from this lane much gratified by the 
cleanliness, simplicity, and comfort of this humble 
people; for I had ever associated a mud wall, a 
thatched roof, and a pig as an inmate, with all that 
was wretched in the extreme ; and I had, so far as 
this lane could speak, abundant evidence that a very 
little will make the Irish content, and even happy. 

In the afternoon I visited the jail, a building, with 
its appendages, including an acre and a half of land. 
It contained eighty-one prisoners ; seventeen had been 
that morning sent to Dublin for transportation. 
They were all at work ; some cracking stones, some 
making shoes, and others tailoring or weaving. 
Their food is one pound of stirabout, and milk in the 
morning, and four pounds of potatoes for dinner. 
There are two hospitals, one for males and the other 
for females. The drop where criminals are executed 
is in front ; four had suffered upon it within the last 
two years. 

From the prison I went to the poor-hoiise, which 
was conducted on the same principle as that of Dub- 
lin ; but the funds were so low that but three himdred 
could be accommodated, and multitudes of the poor 
were suffering upon the streets. A flourishing school 
was in operation, the specimens of writing doing honor 
to the teachers. The children are fed three times a 
day ; they get a noggin of milk at each meal, with 
porridge in the morning, potatoes at noon, and bread 
at night. 

The next day rain kept me within doors, and I had 
the painful annoyance of seeing beggars constantly 


28 TULLAMORE. [chap, n.; 

walking back and forwards before the parlor window ;; 
nor would they depart, though often told they could 
have nothing. The sister, who supported the family 
of her brother-in-law, now returned from Dublin. 
She was a woman of some worth, and apparently 
possessing much piety. The poor afflicted wife and 
mother, as soon as her sister returned, and the ex- 
citement abated, became unwell, imputing the cause 
to her visit at the poor-house ; but sickness of the 
heart was the mover of it all. In the morning, when 
I went to bid her adieu, she answered not a word, 
but looked as if in a state of deep despondency : — 

" When woman droops, she droops in silence ; 
The canker grief gnaws stealthily, but sure ; 
The pallid cheek, the sunken eye alone 
Give note of death's dire work within." 

Report has said something of the class of beggars in 
Ireland; but her busy tongue, extravagant as she often 
is, could not exaggerate here. It was scarcely eight 
o'clock when I reached the coach, but the beggars had 
assembled before me ; for the going out of this vehicle 
is the hey-day of expectation. To them a foreigner, 
or a stranger, whom their shrewdness will readily de- 
tect, is a kind of common plunder, and escape is a 
hopeless undertaking. The coach was to leave at half- 
past eight, and while I stood waiting, I saw some half 
dozen of men with spades standing in a cluster, and 
enquired if they had work for the day. " Not a ha- 
porth, but we are hoping to get some." I asked what 
was the price of labour. " From six to tenpence, and 
we dont get work half the time at this." *• And does 
this support you?" "0 ma*am," said an old man, lean- 
ing on his shovel, *<we hope to see better days, plase 
God; it's but a sorry bit this gives us." "Father 
Mathew has done much for you." " Yes, praise be to 
God, as early as now in the morning, the people round 
here, standing as they do now, would be cursin' and 
fightin'; but now, thank God, there's not a word from 
their lips." 


The chief centre of attraction was now where we 
stood, as I was a stranger. They attacked me with, 
•* God bless you," " a penny, if you plase, lady," " a 
ha'penny for a poor woman and child, whose father is 
dead this twelvemonth," "one haporth for an old man," 
and " the price of bread for a poor boy ;" the boy 
grasping my clothes, and holding fast, in spite of my 
efforts to disengage myself — ^the cries and importunities 
redoubling, while, like swarming bees, they sallied out 
fix>m every quarter, till the crowd was immense. In 
vain I preached loyalty to the government, temperance, 
and peace; my voice was lost in the clamour of "plase, 
lady, it's the haporth ye'll give us, thank God." The 
overseer of the coach, from his window seeing my 
dilemma, hastened out, and kindly begged me to get 
upon the coach, where they could not annoy me so 
seriously. He helped me aloft. Labourers and beg- 
gars^ some on crutches, some with two legs, and some 
with one, mostly clad in coats of divers coloui-s, varie- 
gated with all shades and hues ; boys with a garment 
suspended from the hips, hanging in stripes, making a 
kind of frill — these all followed in pursuit. By the 
time I was well adjusted, a sea of upturned fa<;es, some 
with hats and caps in hand, to catch the falling penny, 
lavished all sorts of blessings on America and the 
kind lady who had come to see them, who as yet had 
not given them a farthing. Waving my hand for a 
moment, all was silent. I endeavoured to count them ; 
there were about two hundred and twenty, one half at 
least beggars. The huddling became so confused that 
I could not proceed, and I resorted to exhortation, 
telling them to be true to their young queen ; that 
they had a Father Mathew to keep them sober ; a 
never-tiring friend in O'Connell, who said he would 
" rot in prison for them if need be ;" and under all 
these encouragements, they must be patient. " That 
we will, lady, and the blessin' of Almighty God be on 
ye, and the prayers of the blessed Vargin, if ye'll give 
us the penny." The scene had now become, to say the 
least, ludicrous, painful, and unseemly. I had travelled 

30 TULLAMOEE. [chap. n. 

by sea and by land among the savages of my own 
country, the poor abused slaves on the plantations, the 
degraded, untutored native Canadians: but this eclipsed 
the whole. I looked down upon the forbidding mass, 
and saw every lineament of talent, every praiseworthy 
and noble quality, every soul-speaking glance of the 
eye, every beauty of symmetry, that God's image eveir 
possessed, united with every disgusting, pitiable incon- 
gruity that imagination could depict. Much did I 
wish that the good queen would leave her throne for 
the one on which I was sitting, and see for a few mo- 
ments her subjects, her loyal Irish subjects as they 
really are, disgusting to refined eyes as it might be. 
She must, she would pity, and though her administra- 
tion had done nothing to produce this state of things, 
yet her administration should and could produce some- 
thing better. I begged the coachman to make speed, 
knowing that a few pennies dropped among them 
would endanger faces and eyes, if not pull me from 
the coach ; and the promise was given, that when my 
bag of money should come from America, part of it at 
least should be poured down upon them. '* Faith," 
cried a poor woman with a dirty urchin hanging to 
her, " and ye'll be here no more, if the bag's to come 
with ye." The coachman attached his horses, leaving 
the whole town with the troop of ragamuffins 
swinging hats and caps, cheering America and the 
queen, shouting and calling for a penny till we were 
out of hearing. 

When we had well escaped, " What is this?" Ibegged 
the coachman to tell me. '<It is the case of all Ireland 
wherever you travel ; a fine country, but cursed with 
bad laws." "But whence could all these miserable 
objects that swarmed around the coach proceed?" 
"From the mountains and places around; they all 
know the time that the coach goes out, and are always 
in readiness; they are not all street beggars, only 
trying their hand at the coaches and canal-boats." 

TuUamore is the assize town of the King's county ; 
it is situated nearly in the centre of the bog of Allen, 


and the proprietor, the Earl of Charleville, has done 
much to improve it. Good schools are established, 
and the poor in the town are more comfortable than 
in many others in the vicinity. The road lay from 
Tullamore through a part of lying's county and Eil- 
dare, to Dublin, a distance of fifty miles ; and forty- 
five of this it was lined on each side with hawthorn 
and cinnamon-briar hedges. The briar was in full 
bloom; the air had been purified by the preceding 
day's rain; and the fragrance of the sweet briar, united 
with that of the new-mown grass, which lay here and 
there as we passed, made a day's ride of the pleasantest 
I ever enjoyed, so far as sweetness of air and beauty 
of scenery were concerned. But the beggars we had 
left, and the beggars that met us at every village where 
the coach stopped, made me dread the appearance of a 
human creature. We passed the most beautifully cul- 
tivated fields, where not a stone or stump could be seen, 
and saw gardens joined to the most forbidding-looking 
hovels, where roses were blooming upon the walls, 
and even upon many a thatch were waving fiowers of « 
variegated beauty ; so that the unaccustomed stranger 
must ask, << What means this strange contradiction ? 
How can such taste for farming and gardening be 
blended with such unseemly rags, such debased minds, 
and such a lack of self-respect as many of these beings 
manifest ? What must be the state of that people, who 
can walk and breathe in such a paradise of delights, 
and not be assimilated in some measure to the more 
than enchanting prospects around them f* 

<< Look I look r said the coachman, << if you'd see 
a sight." The sight should not be recorded, for the 
credit of human nature ; but how can the evils and 
deformities of Ireland be known, if they are not ex- 
posed ? and how can eyes that have always been look- 
ing out upon these things, dimmed as they must be 
by constant use and the fogs of national pride and 
national self-complacency, see these discrepancies with 
so clear a vision as the less accustomed and the less 
interested can see them ? But to the sight. At our 

32 RETURN TO DUBLIN. [chap. n. 

left was an old ragged womao, bending beneath a 
huge pack, and fastened upon that was a boy of 
thirteen (as the coachman and a passenger averred, for 
they both knew him) with legs entirely naked, not 
only hanging at full length, but dexterously applied to 
the old woman his mother, when he wished her to 
hasten her speed, while he held his cap in hand 
towards the coach for pennies. This was allowed by 
the mother to excite compassion, as well as to indulge 
the lad, for the passenger observed that he would not 
walk. He had once seen the mother put him down, 
when he leaped upon a style, and thence to her back, 
giving her a kick, saying, ** There now, go on. Miss 
Lucy Longford." 

We next saw a caravan of Connaught labourers, on 
their way to England to get work. One horse was 
drawing nine of these men, with a woman sitting 
among this score of legs, on the bottom of the cart ; 
and the coachman assured us that the " owner of her" 
was the one between whose feet she was sitting. He 
further informed me, that the practice of these people 
is to go out to gather the English harvest, which 
arrives before the Irish, and at the same time wife and 
children go out to beg. The cabin-door is fastened, 
and they agree to meet there on a certain time, bring- 
ing home the avails of the labour, and they go in 
together at the unfastening of the cabin. 

Stopping at a village, a woman presented a basket 
of oranges, and a troop of beggars fell upon me as 
suddenly as though dropped from the clouds, demand- 
ing the pennies I had received in change for the orange. 
And so clamorous were they, that I felt myself in 
danger, and distributed all I had, which did not sup- 
ply the whole. One was so rude in pulling me, that I 
should certainly have called for the police, if the coach- 
man had not relieved me by applying his whip, and 
leaving her behind. 

Upon the back seat of the coa^h were two convicts 
sentenced to transportation, chained together, with 
three policemen as a guard. The eldest was a 

CHAP, n.] DUBLIN. 33 

hardened veteran, singing merrily as we proceeded, 
with roses stuck in his cap. The younger, a youth of 
about eighteen, was sad, looking as if he was on the 
verge of bursting into tears. The sight was affecting. 
Poor boy I he might be fatherless, but have a mother 
whose heart has doated on him, and who still yearns 
over him ; while, in some unguarded hour, the fatal 
deed has been done, which severs him not only from 
her, but from his country for ever ; which makes him 
a disgraced exile, and drives him farther into the 
thick meshes of sin and temptation. 

When we arrived at Dublin, in Barrack-street, where 
the convicts were to exchange carriages, the host of 
beggars that surrounded us could only be equalled by 
the throng at Tullamore ; and it is a matter of wonder 
how, at a moment's warning, such a herd of vagrants 
can be collected. They are like Pharoah's frogs; 
they compass the whole length and breadth of the 
land, and are almost as much to be dreaded as his 
whole ten plagues ; they leave you no room for escape 
on any hand ; dodge where you will, they are on the 
spot, and the ill-fated stranger needs a fathomless bag, 
who ventures on a tour among these hunger-armed 

The passenger who accompanied us proved most 
happily that a man's merit cannot be judged by his 
coat. His was so much defaced, that when I found 
him seated near me, I felt a little annoyed. I was 
afterwards ashamed of myself for this weakness, for I 
found in the course of conversation, that he was well 
read in the history of his country, had travelled out of 
sight of the smoke of his own cabin, loved Ireland, 
appreciated its virtues, and acknowledged its faults ; 
and though he was no enemy to O'Connell, yet re- 
peal was not his hobby. If their bogs could be 
drained, their mines explored, their waste land re- 
claimed, and the labourer well paid for his toil, he 
would as willingly be under the English crown as that 
of the Irish. Peace was his motto ; ** If we cannot 
have our rights without bloodshed," he added, "let us 


34 DUBLIN. [CHAP. n. 

die oppressed and hated as we are.** He alighted from 
the coach, while the horses were being exchanged, and 
unasked returned with a list of every place from Tul- 
lamore to Dublin, written in a most neat and legible 
hand. My mistake in this man gave me a valuable 
hint, which has been of much service in my long tour 
through the country. 

When the evening hour of reflection, in my own 
room, found me alone, I looked back upon the events 
of the day, and though the reader may see little in it 
that is interesting, yet to me it was a rich and valu- 
able one. It was the last day of the first excursion I 
had made in Ireland, and it had given me in brief de- 
tail much of its true history. The heart-stricken 
woman whose house I had left in the morning, the 
labourers and beggars at the coach, the enchanting 
scenery and exhilirating air, the old woman and son, 
the Connaught men, the convicts and passenger, would 
each make a valuable chapter on the suflfering, crime, 
beauty, deformity, and intelligence of Ireland. 

'* A mighty maze, but not without a plan." 

The next morning I visited the sick saint, whose 
animated cheerful countenance told that the peace that 
passeth all understanding reigned within. To the 
question, " How became you a Christian ?" she an- 
swered, " God Almighty made me one ; yes, praised 
be his name, when I was a great sinner, he called 

" How different," said the young lady, as we passed 
out, " is Christ's teaching from man's. She makes no 
mention of prayers, going to church, or reading the 
Scriptures, but simply, * God Almighty made me a 

My young companion then accompanied me to Irish- 
town, and we heard a sermon from " Go ye into the 
world, and preach the gospel to every creature." The 
organ and music were excellent and appropriate, and 
the Queen's regiment, cap-a-pie in warlike habili- 
ments, with furbished guns and bayonets in their 

CHAP, in.] CO. OF WICKLOW. 35 

pews, made a most peculiar set-off to the principles of 
the text, which are " peace and good will to men." But 
never did a hundred of young soldiers in any house 
of God do more credit to good air, food, and exercise, 
than did these. Each had his prayer-book, and read 
with as much apparent devotion as though tlie success 
of a battte depended on it. 


Visit to the County of Wicklow— A Tremendoua Coach-load 
— ^Horrors of the Joumev — Safe Arrival and kind Beception 
— A Happy Family — Snelton Abbey — Arklow — Beautifiil 
Scenery — ^Arklow Fishermen — Domestic Tnrmoil — Rath- 
dmm — ^The Vale of Ovoca — ^Wicklow Gold Mines— A Hnn- 
giy Man — ^An Old War Horse— A Scriptural Answer — 
Visit to a Bectoiy. 

On Wednesday morning, with my good friend at 
Dorset-street, I found myself at the coach at half past 
five. She left me, and an hour too soon prepared me 
a little for the day's strange movements which were 
before me. The hideous loads of trunks, chests, ham- 
pers, sacks, and baskets, which for an hour were in 
ominous fixings and re-fixings, gave fearful note of 
preparation. " Where shall I sit ? — My trunk must be 
here-^My band-box will be all jammed up — ^And wont 
you please make a little room for my legs ?^ began 
half an hour before the horses were brought, while I 
at a respectable distance stood with basket in hand, 
waiting a clearance of the ladder, that I might ascend. 
Seeing an opening I improved it, and fixed myself in 
mid air with one foot on terra firma, seeking rest 
and finding none. And now the full tide of battle 
set in. I had been seated by the coachman in a few 
inches of space, just left by an old fat man in breeches 
who had moved to have a trunk put up ; and when he 
turned about for his seat, and found it filled, << You 
have got my place, ma'am." " Sit still/' jogged another 

36 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. hi. 

fat Irishman, " make sure of what you Ve got ; and here 
sir, you can take it quite aisy on the top." Behind us 
was a kind of scaffolding, erected of sufficient width 
to seat two. Here, after much grumbling, the old man 
with his bundle was adjusted, his footstool the necks 
of each of us, who in turn handed or whirled his heels 
to the next, while the poor man ever and anon was 
heard to say, in a subdued tone, " That woman's 
got my sate." " Be aisy," said my fat neighbour at 
the left, when I gave signs of pity for the old man. 
"He's doin' quite well." And now the storm was 
working into a tornado. A modest-looking young 
girl, who had waited patiently to be seated (for all this 
time we had not stirred an inch from the door) asked 
what she should do. " What shall you do ?" said the 
boor of a coachman. " Sit where you promised, or 
dont sit at all, on the top of the luggage." There was 
no alternative ; what with hoisting from below, and 
the old man pulling from above, she was seated upon 
her perilous throne, while we had a second pair of 
heels to dispose of, to the no small annoyance of the 
poor man on my left, who did not like to make the 
same rude arrangement of them as he made of the old 

We had proceeded a few miles, with nineteen upon 
the top, and one appended to the back, when a loud 
call from a car arrested us, with, " Can you take a few 
more passengers ?" 

" As many as you please," answered the glad driver. 
The clamour, the entreaties, and threats of the pas- 
sengers, that it was unlawful to load any vehicle so 
unreasonably, and that they should make complaint, 
were all unavailing ; the car was emptied of four solid 
bodies, beside a box or two for each, with baskets and 
lesser appendages, and all transferred to the coach. 
The poor affrighted girl over our heads was now 
ordered to alight, by the profane blustering coachman, 
and without ceremony was packed among us, though we 
already had eight where five could only have a tolera- 
ble seat. This was truly fearful as well as intolerable ; 

CHAP, in.] CO. OF WICKLOW. 37 

a comer of a trunk was resting on my shoulder, and 
twenty miles I rode without having the free liberty of 
my head or full turning of my neck. The beautiful 
Vale of Ovoca we entered, but my cramped position 
kept me from one solitary look at it ; the ponderous 
coach wac threatening at every jostle to plunge us 
headlong. The " Plase be so kind as to move an arm 
or a leg" ; and " Do be aisy, my good friends, you put 
my hat into all manner of shapes," went on, and, taken 
as a whole, it was the most perilous, the most uncom- 
fortable, laughable, provoking ride that could be ima- 

I was the first passenger called upon by the coach- 
man, when we reached Arklow ; and enquiring in sur- 
prise what he could mean by asking money for peril- 
ling our lives^ and then abusing us because we had 
sense enough to know it, I assured him I never would 
pay a man for abusing me, as that could always be 
procured without price. He walked away amid the 
laughter of the multitude, without soliciting money 
from any other. Twenty- nine were on and in the 
coach, and he expected a shilling each from most 
of them. I was heartily thanked by the good-natured 
Irishmen, but this was a poor compensation for a forty 
miles' ride of peril and the loss of my luggage. 

My carpet bag was missing ; and as the coachman, 
by way of revenge for the loss of fee, would not look 
for it, I was left to make my way without it, a mile and 
a-half to the house where my letter was directed. En- 
deavouring to take a shorter route, I was entangled in 
hedge-rows and plunged in ditches. Every one of 
whom I enquired gave me a diflferent direction, while 
all of them agreed that I was << goin' astray," and some 
told me I must " be cracked." At length, climbing 
upon the top of a wall, I found a man digging in a pit, 

and called out, " Will you tell me the way to Mrs. 

and what kind of a woman she is," (for my vexatious 
ride and my perplexing walk had made me quite sus- 
picious.) His reply was, " Ye must take the lane, and 
go by the monument ; and the woman is not a bad one ; 

38 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. m. 

she's a snug farmer, and sent five barrels of potatoes 
to the poor in Arklow last winter.'' This was a cordial 
for my fears. " And how much do you have a day for 
labour ?" I enquired. " But a sorry bit, ma'am. I stay 
here all day without my dinner, because my wages 
wont buy one. Plase God, I hope we shall yet see 
better days in Ireland." 

Following his guidance, I found myself at the gate. 
An open lane shewed the placid sea, and the far-famed 
mountains of Wicklow. About the door were roses, 
a shrubbery, and lilies of the most beautiful kind. I 
entered so fatigued with the day's excursion, that I 
cared but little whether smiles or frowns received me. 
A daughter met me in the hall, and presenting her the 
letter from a long absent brother, she invited me in. 
The mother was called, and though she gave me no 
Irish << thousand welcomes," yet when she saw the 
letter from her son, and heard the sad tale of my coach 
ride, the loss of my carpet bag, and my walk through 
quagmire and ditch to her house, she invited me in to a 
well furnished table, with every appendage of neatness 
and order. The party consisted of the mother, the 
eldest son, four daughters, a little niece, a young lady 
and her brother who were lodgers, and two ladies on a 
visit. The vexations of the day and the embarrass- 
ments of a stranger were soon lost in the courtesy and 
flow of kindness manifested, and I felt as if seated at 
the dinner table of an intelligent New England family, 
where familiar friends had assembled. After dinner 
the mother invited me to the garden, saying, " We 
have made our arrangements for you to spend a week 
with us, and if we did not wish it we should not ask 
it ; so this point is at once settled, and we will show 
you what we can of our country and people." The 
kindness of this offer was greatly heightened, when I 
ascertained that the young gentleman who lodged with 
them had offered hl^ room for my accommodation, 
and that he was to share the bed of the son of the 

Reader, do you love domestic life, where plenty. 


order, and comfort reside ? Then come to the garden 
of Ireland, the county of Wicklow, and I will intro- 
duce 70a to a family where all these rare qualifications 
may be found. This widow had been the mother of 
eleven children ; one had been drowned, and his monu- 
ment, with that of his father, was near the dwelling. 
A son was living in New York, and two in Ireland ; 
four daughters were at home ; the youngest had made 
a choice for herself, and was well settled near the 
family, in one of the tidy cottages that adorn the 
parish, where Lord Wicklow has lavished his good 
taste so profusely. Industry and economy were hap- 
pily blended in this family ; the daughters, unlike many 
in Ireland, with smaller incomes than they, were not 
unacquainted with all that appertained to the good 
management of a house. Their plentiful board was 
spread with wholesome food of their own preparing, 
and every apartment of the house testified to their 
handy work. The morning and evening prayer as- 
cended from the altar here ; and though not in accord- 
ance with my own habits of extemporaneous prayer, 
yet never did I assemble for the family devotion, but 
I felt on retiring that my heart had been warmed and 
my resolutions strengthened in serving my God. It 
may with propriety be averred, that when the morning 
and evening prayer are offered in a family circle, that 
family is genendly the abode of peace and good 

** Give me the sweet abode, however humble. 
Where every child is taught to speak the name 
Of God with reverence ; where, mom and eve. 
The lowly knee is bent around the hallow'd 
Shrine of prayer and praise." 

The following morning the mother walked with me 
to Arklow ; and there, to my great joy, was my carpet 
bag left by the coachman on his return. I found that 
my aged companion had not lived in vain ; for beside 
having, after her husband's death, paid some hundreds 
of poimds of debts that were in arrears, she reared 
eleven children in habits of industry, educated them for 

40 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. hi. 

good society, and gave them all tolerable portions. 
She has a mind stored with interesting anecdote of the 
history of her country, especially that part belonging 
to the days of ninety-eight. The poetry with which 
all the narrations of the Irish peasantry are mingled, 
makes an observing listener willing to give them Ossian 
for their countryman, for they spontaneously breathe 
out many of his sentences, without ever having known 
his book or his name. 

Shelton Abbey, owned by the Earl of Wicklow, is 
a spot of much interest, not only for its beauty, but 
for the happy traits of character united in the earl 
and his family, who make the lot of the poor peasant 
tolerable, if not cheerful. Lady Wicklow has estab- 
lished three schools among the cottagers, which she 
supports ; and she visits from house to house, inquires 
into their wants, and gives them premiums for clean- 
liness. Slated roofs are substituted for thatch, and 
on visiting fifteen of these cottages in one day, I saw 
not a dirty uncomfortable one, and only one where the 
shrubbery and flowers were not blooming in tasteful 
profusion about the windows and whitewashed walls. 
One of the earl's seven daughters writes religious 
tales for the cottager's children, and gives them as 
rewards for industry and cleanliness. The earl sup- 
ports a school for boys, where they can be kept till 
the age of fourteen. I visited one of Lady Wicklow's 
schools, and saw a group of cleanly, well managed 
children, who are instructed by a maiden lady of 
good capacity. The children are Roman Catholics 
and Protestants, and on inquiring into their attain- 
ments the answer was, " They are educated according 
to their rank; they belong to the lower order, and 
reading, writing, arithmetic, and a little knowledge of 
the maps is all the education they will ever need." 
This was a dark spot in the picture, which emphati- 
cally said, (contrary to the injunction, "occupy till 
I come,") " Hitherto shall thou go, and no further." 
What does this principle say to the wise plan of the 
Almighty in the distribution of his talents ? If the 


Saviour gave them to the poor, was he wise in doing 
so ? Did he say, when he gave five talents, " I give 
you these five ; but as you belong to the poor of the 
world, you must hide all but one." What steward 
over God's poor can give a good account of his 
stewardship, who has directly or indirectly checked 
the rising of an intellectual talent, which would be 
used for the glory of God, or the benefit of man ? 

Shelton Abbey has the appearance of a castle. It 
is a granite building, with a belfry for the clock, 
which makes a tower of no mean pretension. In the 
interior of the edifice there was no lack of good 
taste or splendor. The family were in London at 
the time of my visit ; but the servants and gardener, 
left in charge, showed us the premises. A little spin- 
ning wheel, with fiax on the distafi*, stands in the 
parlour as an ornament and a pattern of industry. 
Whether Lady Wicklow has taken " hold of the distaflT 
with her own hands, and furnished her house with 
fine linen, was not told us; but she certainly has 
strong traits of one of Solomon's virtuous women. 
The pictures were numerous and costly. The enor- 
mous representation of a stag-hunt, with dogs hold- 
ing by the teeth a poor stag in the act of leaping 
headlong, formed a cruel contrast to the benevolent 
countenance of the earl hanging near it. 

" I would not enter on my list of Mends, 
The man who needlessly sets foot upon 
A worm." 

A call at the cottage of the young married sister of 
the family where I was stopping, gave an additional 
zest to the beauties of the morning, and the scenery 
around. She received us with such simple-hearted 
kindness, and spread such a well prepared repast in 
such a little parlor, and in so short a time, while her 
chattering little girl decked us with the freshest 
flowers of the cottage, that I almost wished my lot 
had been cast in the parish of Kilbride, after I had 
received my education. After our palatable lunch, we 
went from cottage to cottage, our company swelling at 

42 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. m. 

every stopping place, welcoming the American stran- 
ger; the salutations being often, "Welcome, thrice 
welcome to our country ; a thousand welcomes to Ire- 

The children all joined in the salutations, and we 
ascended an eminence that overlooked the sea. Need 
I tell the reader I was proud of the honor of sitting 
in the midst of that group ? Twilight was gathering 
around us, and the richly cultivated fields, with here 
and there a costly domain and the thatched cottage of 
the peasant, were at our right and left ; for we had left 
the ornamented part of the parish. But here the eye 
was not pained with squalid poverty, and had I not 
since seen any of the desolations of this ill-fated isle, I 
must have said, " If this be Ireland, who shall weep 
over her ?" I regretted that the fall of night made a 
separation necessary, for I loved to hear the tiny 
voices of the children, as they plucked the wild 
flowers, and filled the lap of the stranger ; and when, 
at a gate, or the door of a cottage, I heard the " God 
bless ye, lady," I sent up a hearty wish to heaven, 
that all Ireland's enemies might be touched with feel- 
ings like my own. 

The next day we visited Arklow, and our only ob- 
ject of curiosity was the decayed castle, of which but 
one tower is left. This the serjeant of the barracks, 
who had the care of it, kindly offered to show us. It 
was built in the year 1200. Now, it plainly tells 
that the battering ram had not been applied in 
vain, for it is crumbling to ruin. Our guide conducted 
us to the top by winding-steps, to look out upon the 
adjacent country, and see where the great battles had 
been fought which had deluged that part of the country 
in blood. 

The battle of Arklow, while " seed-time and harvest 
remain," will live in the memory of all who saw it, or 
shall read of it. The prospect was both grand and aw- 
ful ; the river Ovoca was at our feet, winding gracefully 
through the rich vale called by its name. At our right 
hand lay the sea; at our left, the mountains of 

CHAP, ra.] CO. OF WICKLOW. 43 

Wicklow ; behind us the town of Arklow, and near 
where I stood was once the skull of Hackett, which had 
been affixed to the top of the castle, in the days of 
the rebellion. This man had killed many a Protestant, 
and in return they shot him, took off his head, and 
placed it upon the top of the castle, where it remained 
till a few years since, when a wren made her nest in 
his mouth, and it finally tumbled down, and received 
a burial in the side of the tower. 

When we left the tower, we visited the fishermen's 
settlement on the sea-shore. This consists of perhaps 
three hundred huts of a squalid appearance outside ; 
but on entering one of them, we were happily disap- 
pointed, for we had a cordial welcome to a neatly 
whitewashed room ; the cupboards in the kitchen and 
little parlour were neatly arranged, and the bed neatly 
curtained. This is quite conunon, even where the pig 
has a bed on a pile of straw in the comer. 

When we were about leaving the settlement, we 
heaid a most fearful noise in a distant cabin, and as 
we approached, it became more terrific. We hesi- 
tated, fearing that the work of death was going on. 
We ventured at last, and saw a mother in a most 
violent paroxysm of rage, standing over a girl of 
eleven years old, with a stick in her hand, threatening 
that she would kill her, and that instantly, if she did 
not ask forgiveness ; the girl screaming in apparent 
fright, pleading not to be killed, but refusing to con- 
fess. We entreated the mother to desist for a moment, 
and to allow us to speak. Pale and trembling with 
rage, she answered, " I will break every bone in her 
lazy body, ladies ; I will kill her now." We entreated 
that she would allow us to speak to the child, and 
finally succeeded, the mother meanwhile taking an in- 
fant in her lap of eight weeks old, and giving a 
spontaneous history of her family, interlarding it with 
principles that would do honour to the most cultivated 
woman. " I have eleven children, ladies ; six younger 
than the scrawl that has so provoked me, and she 
hasn't done a hap'orth for me to-day. She has been 

44 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. in. 

on the street since six o'clock. Laziness! laziness! 
ladies ! Shouldn't she be bate ? and when I got her 
in, and gave her a slap, she gave me impudence, and 
went into that room, and fastened the door on me, 
and she wouldn't ask my forgiveness, ladies ; and she 
wouldn't ask God's pardon. I wish I could bate her, 
and not get into a passion." "You must tell her 
priest," said one of the young ladies. ** And that I 
will ; hell hear of this." " But she s been petted at 
school, and it won't do to pet such scrawls ; and be- 
fore she will be idle and filthy, I'll kill her. She'd 
better be dead than lazy and dirty. I sent to Dublin 
and got a piece of calico, and made them all dacent. 
I saved a piece to mend 'em with, and you see here's 
a rent in this child's arm (holding up the arm of a 
little girl,) and that lazy girl won't put on the piece ; 
and she can sew well. I can't have my children 
ragged. I can't have 'em dirty. It's a sin, ladies. 
Their father toils, poor man, till dark night, to keep 
their clothes dacent, and keep 'em in school." Here a 
shrivelled old woman entered, saying, " And what's all 
this ? This girl is as fine a slip as ye'U find in all 
Wicklow, — a fine scholar." " You see, ladies," re- 
marked the mother, "how she's petted; that's the 
trouble. They must be bate." 

"We then insisted that the child should hear us, tell- 
ing the old woman that she had been very wicked, 
and that her mother ought to punish her. " Ah ! poor 
woman, and she's kilt with so many of 'em, — the 
craturs ; and she strives to make 'em dacent, and so 
does the father ; and she'll be a better girl — and won't 
ye ?" Among us all, by exhortations and entreaties, 
we succeeded in getting a promise from the ofiender 
that she would try to do better ; that she would go 
immediately, and mend her sister's elbow; and she 
voluntarily thanked us kindly for our good advice. 
The mother also thanked us, and said, " What will I 
do to keep down my temper ? When I see this child in 
the street in bad company, all goin* to the bad. 


lamin' nothin' but what the divil tells her, ladies, 
shouldn't I be mad ?" 

It was raining, and we could not go out : all was 
hushed save the pattering of the rain upon the door- 
steps, and we sat down in silence, each apparently 
inclined to meditate on the scene before us. The still- 
ness seemed like the great calm that followed the voice 
of the Saviour, when the surging wave of the maddened 
ocean shrunk away, and blended together into a placid 
molten sea. The paleness of the mother was ex- 
changed for that wholesome ruddiness so prevalent 
among the cleanly Irish peasantry, contrasting finely 
with the clean cap that was becomingly adjusted upon 
her high forehead. The unconscious infant, in a clean 
pink frock, was sleeping on the lap of the mother, 
which was covered with a tidy apron. The refractory 
girl had ceased her sobbing, and showed a face and 
features of talent and interest. A little girl of six 
years old was standing at our left, with face, hands, 
and feet clean, her hair well combed, her frock and 
apron whole and cleanly. A tidy girl of about four- 
teen was nicely adjusting the dinner dishes upon a 
white cupboard with the greatest care and stillness. 
The room into which the young rebel had fastened 
herself was clean, and for a cabin nicely furnished, as 
could be seen through the open door. The room in 
which we were sitting contained a bed in the corner, 
in a kind of enclosure, with a clean covering, and at a 
little distance were two barrels, with a pile of straw 
between them, on which a couple of fat pigs were ex- 
tended asleep. 

The silence was broken by my asking the woman, 
" Is your daughter industrious ?" alluding to the one 
at work. " God be praised," said the mother, " she 
never gives me trouble ; she's always as you see her — 
none but the girl who has been so petted." Fearing 
" the clouds might return after the rain," we gave her 
the most friendly cautions and wishes, and kindly ad- 
monished the penitent girl, who followed us to the 

46 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. hi. 

door, adding her thanks for our kindness ; and we left 
this fisherman's cabin, hoping that none had been made 
worse by our visit. 

"What good sentiments," remarked one of my com- 
panions, "have we heard expressed from that mad 
woman ! how clean her cabin ! how nice her children! 
and what a mother would she have been had she been 
educated!" We all looked upon the poor woman with 
feelings of the deepest pity. She possessed every in- 
gredient of mind to have fitted her for the best of 
mothers, with the highest sense of what her daughter 
should be, and her own responsibility to make her so; 
yet as she had never been cultivated herself, and had 
not the least restraint upon her temper, we had reason 
to fear that the wayward girl might yet fall a victim 
to the mother's rage. We had visited the schools in 
Arklow, and thought of again calling to find the 
teacher of this child, but did not. In these schools, 
which are supported by private individuals, Protest- 
ants and Papists are taught the scriptures daily ; and 
though they appeared not quite as cleanly as Lady 
Wicklow*s, yet they merited more praise than censure. 

A ride on a pleasant day, through a pleasant coun- 
try, in pleasant company, with a good horse, an easy 
carriage, and buoyant health, induces the fortunate 
traveller to note pleasant things in his journal of the 
country and people, especially if the tea be prepared to 
his liking, and sent in at precisely the right time. 
Such was my happy lot when* my hostess, her daughter, 
grand-daughter, and a young man took a seat on a car, 
and accompanied me through the enchanting Yale of 
Ovoca to Rathdrum. At Newbridge we met a rustic 
funeral procession, in all kinds of habiliments, and on 
all kinds of vehicles appropriate to that class ; while 
the black pall, with knots of white ribbon a few inches 
apart, from the head to the foot of the coffin, borne on 
the shoulders of four men, as a substitute for the 
" sable hearse and nodding plume," told us that the 
body enclosed there had withered in the morning of 
life. We had scarcely passed, when a gladsome wed- 

CHAP, ra.] CO. OF WICKLOW. 47 

ding party, on their return from the church, where 
the vows had been performed, burst suddenly into view, 
at a short turning of the road, and their every look and 
action said, 

" All men think aU men mortal but themselTes." 

A gentle shower sprinkled us, but gave additional 
interest to the scenery, as we rode through the shady 
grounds of the tasteful domains. The grand Castle of 
Howard was looking out upon our right, as if hanging 
upon the top of a wooded precipice; the domain of Mr. 
Pamell, cousin to the Earl of Wicklow, lay in our 
path. He had visited the United States, and from the 
city of Washington he had selected a plant of no mean 
growth, and fixed it in this laughing Eden, which, 
while the rain-drops were glistening in the sun, now 
looking out upon the broad-spreading tree and verdant 
lawn, said, if happiness dwell not here, we must seek 
the fugitive in other skies where purer spirits dwell. 

On alighting from the car, we were received by a 
most unassuming young woman, a relative of the good 
lady who introduced me thither, and in the few hours 
we stopped, we had one of the happiest specimens of 
conscientious devotedness in a mother to the welfare of 
her children I had ever seen. She had three, and 
'^how,** she asked, " how shall I train them for useful- 
ness in time and a happy immortality P^ -She was a 
mother of prayer. " You have a church near by," 
said I, <<and a good pastor I hope, who helps you 
to guide your little flock." " We have," she answered 
emphatically, *<and it is through his kindness, his 
faithfulness, and his untiring watchfulness, that I have 
been most deeply made to feel my responsibility. The 
church you see here was built by himself, and he 
labours in it without pay, employing curates as he sees 
fit, and all the parish are visited by him, the poor as 
well as the rich. He watches over the children, and 
they look to him as their father." Happy pastor ! 
good shepherd, that cares for the sheep, and looks well 
to the lambs of the flock. The memory of such will 

48 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. hi. 

never perish. It can be said of him, as of Goldsmith's 

village preacher, 

" Even children followed with endearing wile, 

And pluck'd his gown to share the good man's smile." 

The little town of Eathdrum contains about two 
hundred families, and is fitted up with considerable 
taste. A poor -house well filled adorned the outskirts. 
But the ride home — 

** Now came still evening on, and twilight grey 
Had in her sober liverj Si things clad." 

It was Ireland's summer twilight, lingering long, as 
though loath to draw the curtain closely about a bright 
isle in a dark world like this. It was early in July, 
the rich foliage had attained its maturity, and not a 
seared leaf was sprinkled on bush or tree, to warn that 
autumn was near. For the first mile the road was 
smooth and broad, lined with trees ; now and then a 
white gate with white stone pillars, opening to some 
neat cottage or domain ; the glowing streaks of the 
setting sun had not left the western sky, and glimmered 
through the trees ; while the air, made fragrant by the 
gentle shower, diffused through body and mind that 
calmness which seemed to whisper, " Be silent ; it is 
the Vale of Ovoca you are entering." We descended 
a declivity, and the vale opened upon us at " the Meet- 
ing of the Waters." The tree under which Moore sat 
when he wrote the sweet poem had been pointed to 
me in the morning. We now stood near the union of 
the two streams, where the poet says, 

*• There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet. 
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet.*' 

The rich variety of wood ; the still, clear, limpid 
water; the hill and vale, in some parts dark and wild, 
in others light and soft, ever and anon relieving the 
eye by some new variety ; but above all, the pleasant 
association that this vale, however dark and deep its 
recesses, harbours not a venomous serpent or reptile — 
no, not even the buzz of the musquito is heard — made 
it unlike all others. We rode three miles, scarcely 


uttering a syllable all the while; a holy repose seemed 
to rest on this hallowed spot, as when it first bloomed 
under the hand of its Maker, and imagination was 
prompted to say^ as no serpent has ever coiled here, 
the contaminating touch of sin has not left its impress. 
Never did I leave a spot more reluctantly ; it was a 
night scene which never has faded from my eye, and 
I hope never will. 

''01 the last rays of feeling and life must depart. 
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart." 

In the deep silence, the voice of God and the soft 
whisper of angels seemed to be there. These voices 
said kindly, " There is mercy yet for poor erring 
man." It appeared like the bow of the covenant, tell- 
ing us to look and remember that though this world 
has been cursed by sin, yet a new heaven and earth 
are promised, of which this is a shadowy resemblance. 
The borders of this valley are interspersed with gen- 
tlemen's seats, and here and there dotted with the white- 
washed cottages of the peasants ; and the rich cluster of 
foliage upon the hill sides, upon bush and tree, almost 
persuade you that the dew of Hermon has fallen upon 
them. Stranger, when you visit Ireland, visit the 
Vale of Ovoca. K you love God, here you will see 
him in a picture that must be read ; if your stay be 
limited, waste it not in decyphering a time-defaced 
stone, telling the bloody deeds of some ancient warrior, 
or the austerity of some long-lived ascetic, but linger 
in this spot ; stop at the neat little hotel, erected on 
purpose for the accommodation of the stranger ; and 
morning, noon, and night explore its never-dying 
beauties of light and shade. Three times did I go 
through, and when I turned away at last, I felt that 

•* I could stay there for ever to wander and weep." 

The fairy pictures of Ireland had now opened upon 
me so vividly, that had it not been for the beggars of 
Tullamore, I must have said, surely this country is 
quite a monopolist in its pleasant things ; but little did 
my enthufiiaam anticipate the check that awaited it. 


50 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap, hi 

The next day a ride to Killahester, upon the moun- 
tains, five miles distant, took us to the house of my 
hostess's son. He accompanied us to the Gold Mines, 
in a deep ravine; these were discovered more than 
forty years ago, and government then attempted to 
work tliem, but soon abandoned the project. Now any 
man may search here for gold, where and how he 
pleases, and we found four men patiently at work at 
their own risk. They informed us that they often dug 
for days in succession, and got not a particle of gold ; 
then they find a little, sufficient to encourage them, 
and they patiently labour on. Enquiring of a lad of 
twenty, " Suppose you work a month, and find none, 
what would you then do ?" he replied, " O we dont mind 
that ; the good may come at last." Happy for the 
poor Irish, that their organ of hope is so largely de- 
veloped, otherwise they would sink under their accu- 
mulated burdens. They showed us a specimen of the 
gold. It was about a guinea's worth, and was quite 
pure. The lad who produced it said, " We be never 
disheartened," WeU they might take courage, for 
digging in a rock for gold, with a few grains now and 
then as a reward, is as good an equivalent as working 
for sixpence or eightpence a day, and buying their own 
potatoes. The inhabitants of this mountain are many 
of them poor, and live in dark mud cabins, with a 
scanty supply of food. My friend, at whose house I 
stopped, observed that the labourers who live under 
the farmers are in a better condition than those who 
live under the land-owners. The latter allow but ten- 
pence a day, out of which the labourer must find his 
own food, while a great farmer often gives fifteen pence 
and part of the food. My friend was one of these great 
farmers ; he had two hundred acres of land, and paid 
his labourers in that proportion. 

Passing a gate, we saw a man at work with a small 
dog, whose emaciated body and trembling skulking 
manner induced me to say, " Your dog, sir, looks as 3 
you do not feed him enough." " And that I dont," was 
the answer. " And why not ? you should kill him or 

CHAP, ra.] CO. OF WICKLOW. 51 

feed him better." The master made no answer, but 
that silent eloquence which speaks louder than words. 
As we walked away, " Poor man I" said the farmer, 
" he is much of the time hungry himself ; he gets but 
little work, and I doubt not but he is in want of food 
this minute." The sad proofs of Ireland's woes were 
then beginning in the county of Wicklow, and I could 
not enjoy the palatable meal of bread, cream, and 
fruit, so much did the desponding man and his 
famished dog annoy me. The sight was then new to me, 
to see a man in a season of plenty about his avocations 
without sufficient food to eat, and a faithful dog, meagre 
and starving, watching and obeying the will of the 
master. But these have since ceased to be objects of 

On Saturday I visited the estate of a gentleman who 
had perched his mansion on the brow of the Vale of 
Ov^a. Here, though porters and dogs guarded the 
buildings, yet we were admitted into the outer porch 
of the temple, and had a Walk among evergreens and 
flowers upon the margin of the vale ; and we seated 
ourselves upon a rustic seat, to feast again upon the 
never fading beauties of the river and vale at our feet. 
A distant landscape of cultivated country was stretched 
beyond, and the whole looked more like a fairy land 
than a real spot of earth, trees, and water. We were 
disappointed that we were not allowed to enter the 
premises, and see the greatest curiosity of the whole, 
a mare of the age of fifty years, who carried her master 
to the gi'eat battles forty-six years before, in the days 
of the rebellion. She is said to be in good flesh ; her 
head is white with age, her body grey ; and the daugh- 
ters of the man who was once her owner but is now 
dead, have the beast kept, and well tended on this 
estate, out of respect to both their father and the 
animal. The simple hearted cottagers who accom- 
panied me presented a picture of patriarchal days and 
manners, that made me regret that artificial life and 

** trade's unfeeling train 
Usurped the land and dispossessed the swain.*' 


52 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. iv. 

Calling at the cottage of a peasant, attracted by the 
beauty of the shrubbery, and to inquire the way to 
Ballyarthur, "Pardon me," said the woman, and 
hastening into the cottage, she returned with her 
bonnet and shawl, and said, "I will go with you, 
ladies, and show you a near way.** She was advanced 
in life, and something corpulent; and her effort to 
climb over stiles, and pass hedges and ditches, for the 
accommodation of strangers, called for an acknowledg- 
ment. Her scriptural answer was noticeable, " But we 
are told, ma'am, that we musn't turn the stranger out 
of his way." Happy would it be if all who read the 
Scriptures more than this unnoticed woman would 
practise its precepts as well. 


The Church of Kilbride— A Methodist Minister— Methodism 
in Ireland — Visit to the Rectory — Teetotalism unfashionable 
— American Courtesy to Females not imiversal in Ireland — 
The Seven Churches of Glendalough — ^Foolish Legends con- 
nected with this locality — Strange Exhibition of Party Spirit 
— Return to Dublin — ^Lady Harburton's School. 

On Sabbath heard the rector of Kilbride preach a 
most searching sermon, from ** Knowing the terrors of 
the Lord, we persuade men," insisting that we should 
always be reminded that God loves justice as well as 
mercy, and that he gave an awful proof of this love in the 
punishment of his Son. The congregation was small, 
but quite in accordance with every thing in the 
pansh, neat and respectable ; the music was sweet, and 
" Old Hundred" was performed in that soul-stirring, 
soul-fitting manner which is so peculiar to that tune 
when well performed. If set tunes are performed in 
heaven, " Old Hundred" and " Luther's hymn" must 
be favorites in that " great congregation." This rec- 
tor and his lady were among the first in the morning 
at the sabbath-school, which he opened by prayer, 
this being his usual custom. When introduced to him 


as an American, I was happy to find that his rector- 
ship had not robbed him of that beautiful urbanity so 
characteristic of the native Irish, for he gave me a 
hearty welcome to Ireland in true Irish mode. "I 
passed," said he, " three pleasant years in New York, 
and left it with great reluctance. I am quite attached 
to its customs and people in many respects, especially 
their hospitality to strangers and their politeness to 

Sabbath evening supped at the house of Mr. Burke, 
a Methodist clergyman. His companion was one of 
those prudent wives who are from the Lord. Her 
children were educated by herself, (the proper busi- 
ness of mothers,) and their becoming deportment tes- 
tified that the pruning-knife had been applied in 
season. Mr. Burke told me that the Methodists now 
number in Ireland about 29,000 members, and 100 
preachers. Certainly these indefatigable labourers 
have done no small business to make their way through 
Popery, Prelacy, Presbyterianism, and Independency. 
They are instant in season and out of season. Went 
to Arklow at seven, and found a plain chapel, with a 
plain man in the pulpit, and heard a plain sermon 
preached to a plain people, all in accordance, with 
every nail fitted to its place. 

On Monday the family of my hostess were invited to 
make a social visit at the rector's. His cottage, like 
those of most of his neighbours, was surrounded by 
shrubbery, and a little lawn spread out at the front. 

** The soil improved around, the mansion neat, 
And neither poorly low nor id^ great." 

It was consistency outside, and within neatness and 
good order prevailed. The mother of Mrs. D. and 
Mr. D's sister, together with the usual accompani- 
ments, children to the number of three, composed the 
family of the rector and his lady. The sister had 
travelled considerably, was highly intelligent, and the 
wife and mother would do honour to any exalted sta- 
tion. The evening passed pleasantly and profitably to 

54 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. iv. 

me, as Mr. D. gave what he thought the true condi- 
tion of Ireland, and the cause of her sufferings, 
namely, popish influence and the bad government of 
England in the beginning, together with absenteeism. 
In his opinion, if repeal were granted, the exter- 
mination of all Protestantism must and would take 

The reader will not think that the flowers and 
shrubbery, the politeness and attention of the people of 
Kilbride, had so won upon me as to dim my vision 
to all that is unseemly, when I add that in this intel- 
ligent,, refined, and religious little party, I felt that a 
wiser and holier Being might say, ** I have somewhat 
against thee.'* Here was a sudden check upon my 
happy evening, when, to my surprise, I saw the wine 
giving its color in the cup. So long had I been ac- 
customed to view it as an evil and bitter thing, that 
I thought all Christians felt the same, since the Lord 
commands us not to " look upon it when it is red," 
" when it moveth itself aright ;" and especially since 
in America it is generally believed that in Ireland 
all classes of the people have got rid of the sin of 
intemperance. I had seen it before on Protestant 
tables, but did not expect it among the clergy ; but I 
had many things to learn, and this fact was one, that 
this heaven -inspired movement of temperance in Ire- 
land not only owes its effectual origin to the Papists, 
but is continued and supported mostly by them. May 
God in mercy to poor Ireland open the eyes of the of- 
ficers of the church, and the leading men among the no- 
bility, to act as he would have them act. I looked 
back on New England twenty -five years ago, and then 
saw the clergy and nobility demurring whether it was 
sinful to drink in " moderation.'* I looked upon them 
now, and heard them unitedly cry out, " Touch not, 
taste not, handle not, but shun the appearance of evil," 
and I looked upon this lovely family down the vista of a 
few short years, hoping and believing that they too 
would be emancipated, and walk forth unshackled from 
tyrant custom and tyrant appetite. 


The time of departure arrived, and a second subject 
was discussed. The rector had said an hour or two 
before, " You will find that the habits of our country 
differ widely from yours, in regard to the attention 
paid to females by the gentlemen. While the gentle- 
men there are sometimes over attentive, they are here 
often neglectful, if not uncivil.'' 1 regretted to hear 
this, for though I had come determined to meet all and 
every thing as unfeelingly as possible, yet my edu- 
cation had taught me to believe that the attentions 
paid to females should spring from their dependence ; 
and this dependence is generally greater in age than 
in youth. It is much to be lamented if Irish mothers 
have not instructed their young sons, that to suffer a 
female, especially an aged one, to go out at night 
alone, to climb into a carriage without assistance, or 
to stand up in church while men are sitting, is unkind, 
uncourteous, and highly reprehensible. 

Pardon this digression. We had on our bonnets and 
shawls to go out, and the kind rector had his staff and 
hat in hand to accompany us. "We cannot allow you," 
said a young lady, " to take all this trouble ; we can 
very well go alone." " No female whom I have in- 
vited to my parlour or table shall go out of my house 
unprotected on a dark evening." "Amen!" responded 
my heart, for I could not see how any man could do less, 
and be a man still ; but the uneasiness that the ladies 
manifested, plainly told that they had not been accus- 
tomed to such attentions. 

"You must see the Seven Churches, before you leave 
the county of Wicklow," said my good friends. This 
visit to the Seven Churches is a memorable one, not 
only on account of the marvels which we saw and 
heard, but the pleasant and painful associations with 
which it is connected. The young husband of the 
daughter of my hostess offered to accompany me to 
the place, seventeen miles distant, with his wife and 
another lady. It was in the midst of haymaking, and 
he left his business, hired a horse and car, and we 
started at an early hour on a beautiful sunny morning. 

56 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. iv. 

We stopped a few moments at the Copper Mines, which 
were then in operation, and had been for twenty years. 
They had at that time explored a mile in depth into a 
mountain of rocks, and found sufficient encouragement 
to proceed. Eight shillings a week was the labourer's 
compensation for this arduous toil. Our ride was 
pleasant, and the country rich for the first part of the 
way. Within a few miles of the Churches, the moun- 
tains become higher, and are covered with heath, giv- 
ing them a barren and dry appearance. The entrance 
to this celebrated spot is not through lawns or pleasure 
grounds, but between a wall of strong mountains on 
the right and left ; and the few cultivated spots looked 
to the stranger to be scarcely a sufficiency for the poor 
peasantry, who soon gathered in thick array around 
us when we arrived, to show us the wonders, or to ask 
a penny. Old men and maidens, young men and chil- 
dren were on the spot, each with the utmost servility 
ready to "sarve" us in the best and " chapest" manner. 
We were obliged to shake them all off except one, who 
was engaged, and handed over to me, as I was a stran- 
ger, and my party had visited it before. The sensible 
reader shall be troubled with only a very little of the 
consummate nonsense with which my ears were stuffed 
during the long six hours we passed among these ruins. 
The first object of interest was a round tower, stand- 
ing alone, one hundred and seven feet in height, and 
about six and a-half in diameter, with windows at some 
distance from the top, and no door nor entrance what- 
ever except the windows. For what purpose these 
incomprehensible towers were built everybody attempts 
to tell us, and nobody satisfies the enquirer, even if he 
satisfy himself. Even my guide told no legend in 
connection with it. The burying-ground in which we 
were standing was the next wonder. Its age is traced 
by the peasantry back to the first peopling of this 
" land of saints ;** some asserting that St. Patrick was 
the founder, others going farther back ; but among 
the rude, defaced, and dilapidated stones, I did not 
read one inscription of more than a hundred and fifty 


years ago ; however I did not read all, and many were 
written in such hieroglyphics, that the Jesuits who 
wrote them might best decipher them. The graves 
were pointed out to us where five priests were deposited ; 
and there were deep holes in these graves, whence the 
consecrated clay had been taken, which we were in- 
formed would cure all diseases, however obstinate. 
One of the company now cried out, " See that child 
hanging from a high grave-stone — she will be killed if 
she faUs." " Oh, never fear," cried a young woman, 
•' she hangs there every day ; she's puttin' purgatory 
over her, ma'am ; she tells her mother she wont live 
the year, and she does it for penance, lady." " Ah ! 
she's a wonderful child, that" — responded my guide, 
who now told me that the wonders he was about to 
relate had been told to him by his grandfather, and 
might be all believed. An enormous stone cross stands 
here for the benefit of single persons, who, if they can 
embrace it backwards, will be certain of a partner 
within a year. The guide told us he had done so to 
accommodate gentlemen who had visited there, and as 
often as he had done it, his wife died, till he had lost 
five, and was fairly tired out. The cathedral is a 
coarse stone building, now gone to decay, and but a 
monument of what it once was. It must have been 
very strong, but small and dismal, and of many hun- 
dred years standing. 

It is unnecessary to describe every object of interest 
that we saw among the ruined churches, of which 
enough remains to keep alive the legends of the super- 
stitious, and the curiosity of the stranger. The very 
name and the romance connected with the mountains, 
the lakes and St. Kevin's bed, will continue to attract 
the traveller. The stone where the orphan boy stood 
daily, and was fed by a deer, which St, Kevin called 
from the mountains to shed her milk into a hole in the 
stone for the child, still remains, and you are shown the 
marks of the child's fingers. The round rock, flat 
' upon the top, under which a fire was made, which St. 
Kevin ordered to be kept hot to bake the cakes of King 


58 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. iv. 

OToole, is also pointed out. Among the good deeds 
ascribed to the saint is the building of the churches. 
Being poor, he had no land to build upon ; King O'Toole 
owned that country, and St. Kevin had fled into a 
cavern which overlooks the larger lake, to avoid the 
snares of the beautiful Kathleen. Feeling a most 
holy desire to establish the worship of God in these 
mountains, he applied to the king for land. The king 
had a pet goose, which had stood at his door seven 
years without either flying or walking ; and he told 
the saint if he would make his goose walk, he would 
give him as much land as she would fly over. The 
saint took the goose in his hand, and threw her up in 
the air, and she flew down the glen upon one side of 
the lakes, and up the other. Thus the whole glen be- 
came the saint's, and next comes the building of the 
churches. " You must know," said my guide, " that 
no lark flies over this glen, nor no lamb ever lies down in 
it." When these churches were building, the labourers 
complained that they were obliged to work from lark- 
rising till the lying down of the lamb at night, for a 
penny a day. St. Kevin told them that the lark should 
never fly over the glen, nor the lamb lie down on it 
again, which promise has been kept sacred, and these 
lines from Moore are repeated with much pathos : 

** By that lake, whose gloomy shore 
Sky-lark never warbled o'er." 

The two lofty mountains which overhang these lakes 
and glens were once visited by King O'Toole and a 
Scottish giant, who shook hands across the lake ; and 
the king, after having drank the health of the giant, 
handed him the tumbler. All this you must believe if 
you are not a downright heretic, and this is but a be- 
ginning of the marvels. There are a few realities which 
might be worth the notice of the traveller, if they could 
be reached beneath the rubbish that covers them. 

Seven churches once stood here, whether all built 
at the same period is not certainly known ; if so, the 
spot must have been thickly peopled ; but when these 


people lived, and how they subsisted in this narrow 
glen, is a mystery. Two majestic mountains overlook 
these lakes sleeping at their base, leaving little room for 
cabins, though a few are sprinkled upon the border of 
the lakes on one side. By the side of a moss-covered 
pile of stones, which was one of the churches, was an 
open grave, said to be King O'Toole's. The head of 
his coffin, which was stone, lay upon the ground, the 
grave having been opened to ascertain whether his 
coffin were there. A stone cross stood upright, bear- 
ing marks of ancient workmanship. At the bottom 
of this monument lay a moss-covered stone, with carv- 
ings of serpents and hieroglyphics. 

The stranger cannot but pause and reflect, in the 
midst of these legends and foolish superstitions ; there 
must have been here, in years long gone by, a pecu- 
liar people, a people if not literary yet religious, who 
selected this deep dell for the purpose of adding soli- 
tude to their devotions. The remains of seven churches 
without any vestiges of dwelling-houses, give to the 
whole a deeper mystery. Though a hot July sun was 
shining with unusual fervor, a subduing stillness 
reigned around the lake ; and one green spot of trees, 
wild flowers, and grass, through which ran a clear, 
soft murmuring stream, added a romantic beauty to 
the scene. I had stolen a moment from my gabbing 
interpreter, to enjoy by the side of this stream a little 
rest and reflection, when a shrill shout, followed by 
a hideous echo, burst upon my ear. It was the old 
barefooted Kathleen, who has acted for twenty years 
as a guide to St. Kevin's bed, and who carries pre- 
sumptuous visitors on her back up the steep and dan - 
gerous clifl", in the face of which is the cave where 
the saint had lived. Into this cave she assured us she 
had carried Walter Scott, Thomas Moore, and many 
other great personages, and it only wanted myself to 
complete the list. Assuring her that I had not the 
least ambition to immortalize my name by a ride upon 
her back, and a tumble into the lake beneath, from 
which a rescue would be impossible, I left the honor 

60 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. iv. 

to such as might better deserve it. As she still in- 
sisted, and the guide added, << it would be a great loss 
not to see where the good saint lay," I ventured a 
little way up the steep, and was glad to find a place 
for my sliding feet to rest, whilst one of our party, 
an adventurous young woman, went on. She reached 
the precipice, and placed her hand on the shelving- 
stone that covered the cave. The yawning, black, and 
deep gulf was beneath her, and the slightest jostle 
might have plunged her headlong. Her husband, see- 
ing her presumption, had seated himself at a distance, 
waiting the fearful event in silence ; and for myself, I 
turned not a look in that direction, fully expecting to 
hear a shriek and sudden splash into the lake beneath. 
In a few minutes she was near us ; perspiration, she 
said, started from every pore, and tears streamed from 
her eyes, as she found herself actually hanging by the 
rock over the precipice ; and she was glad to be again 
by the side of her husbaiid. 

Kathleen returned, redoubling her assurances of my 
safety, if I would trust to her " sure fut ;" but she 
was forced to content herself with giving specimens of 
the strength of her lungs, while the mountains re- 
turned the screams in faithful echoes. My guide de- 
termined not to be out-done, and he screamed out ex- 
clamations to the giants and fairies, who all answered 
by repeating the same distinctly. We saw a line of 
stones cross a bog of eighty or a hundred yards, ar- 
ranged in the shape of crosses, where pilgrims in more 
holy times went over upon their knees doing penance. 
" You must know, lady, that this was a place of 
saints," remarked our guide solemnly. Our walk was 
now interrupted by a line made across our path, of 
sweet-briar, and held at each end by two little girls. 
Supposing they were at play, I said, " You are jump- 
ing the rope." " No, ma'am, it's a turnpike." " And 
must we pay toll ?" " If you plase, lady." We had 
three of these turnpikes to pass within a few rods, and 
toll was required at each. This was a contrivance of 
their mothers to draw money. 


It is difficult, in going through Ireland, to know 
whether to be disgusted at the whining cant of the 
beggars to move your pity, or provoked at their de- 
ceitful impudent efforts to extort your money. And 
it must be equally difficult for beggars to demean them- 
selves honourably; if they appear servile and religious, 
then they are hypocrites; if like men and women 
transacting other business in life, then they are im- 
pudent. It is painful to see the cunning arts of young 
children, trained from the cradle to beg, when the 
parents are not honest. But it is well for Ireland that 
its paupers in general are not a dangerous thieving 
race ; if they were, they are so numerous, that the more 
favoured classes would never be secure. When we 
had paid toll at the gates, the last marvel of our day 
was shown by our guide. It was a bush over a round 
pool of water, the branches tied thickly with rags, which 
had been used for washing eruptions upon pilgrims. 
You are informed that St. Kevin blessed this pool, and 
it cures all who wash in it. A few more fooleries are 
practised upon the credulous visitor, and the guide dis- 
misses him as having done his own duty well ; the 
stranger has only to believe. When all was finished, I 
said, ** You do this for money, sir." " I get my bread 
by it, lady, and yesterday [which was the sabbath] I 
made eight shillings.'' " And do you believe one word 
of all the ridiculous stuff with wiiich you have been 
cramming us P' « I tell it, lady, as I heard it." « But 
do you believe it yourself ?'* He looked confounded, and 
answered, " No : but I made only one story to fill up 
the time as we were passing along." 

When we returned to the inn, a devout-looking 
woman met us^ and gravely asked, " Have you washed 
in St. Kevin's pool ? Depend upon it, lady, there is 
the greatest vartue in it ; it cures all sorts of evils" I 
replied by asking her, " And have you ever washed the 
wicked one himself ?" Astonished, she looked at me, 
" The divil, ma'am, did ye mane ? The divil can't 
come here. This is the place of saints." One of the 
ladies who accompanied me said, " You have lost your 

62 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. iv. 

character as a Christian, and they'll want no more of 
you in this holy place. You have laughed at their 
money-making lies, and no one ever does that here. 
They expect you to receive it all in good faith, and to 
admire when you go away the skilfulness of the guide 
in entertaining you." A word respecting the inn- 
keeper, a fat good-natured mass, tumbled together in 
not the most scrupulous manner, but as incredulous 
respecting the holiness of the spot as his interest would 
allow him. " I know less of the wonders of the place," 
he said, " than those that visit here ; but as people will 
come, I will entertain them," which he did in a most 
comfortable manner, and at a moderate price. As we 
were going out, he called to me, and gave me a word 
of advice. " Do you, madam, publish a sketch of these 
wonders, and give new names which nobody can in- 
terpret, and your book will circulate well in Ireland. 
But be sure you express no doubt on the subject your- 

Our guide was no novice at story-telling, for he told 
my friend who had accompanied us, that he would visit 
his neighbourhood, and entertain him any evening with 
stories, as soon as he could get time to make some good 
ones ; adding, " This is my business, you know, but I 
will ask you nothing as you brought the lady." He 
had been twice paid for his bundle of lies to me ; my 
friend feed him in advance, and I paid at the close. 
This ridiculous farce, practised for a long time, loses 
little of its interest even in the nineteenth century. 
And though the invention is attributed to Catholic 
superstition, yet it meets many a believing heart in 
Protestantism. The guide called himself a Protestant. 

On our return we ascended the serpentine, closely 
swept road, that conducts the traveller through the 
woody enclosure to the top of the hill, on which stands 
the romantic Castle Howard, looking down with her 
evergreens about her upon the beautiful Vale of Ovoca. 
Nature and art seem here to have done their utmost 
to render the spot not only grand but lovely. The 
lady of the castle was absent on a fashionable tour to 


England, leaving the house-keeper to show the castle 
and reap the benefit. The interior is fitted up with 
all the appendages belonging to high life, dogs, leo- 
pards, statues, and ornaments, so varied that nothing 
seemed left for the mind to supply, but the placing in 
the library of a few dozen volumes more moral in ten- 
dency than the works of Voltaire. 

My visit to the county of Wicklow being finished, I 
am happy to say that both country and people exceeded 
my sanguine expections. The natural scenery, the 
cultivation, but most of all the peasantry, possess a kind 
of fascination, which every unprejudiced traveller must 
confess. Many of the peasantry are cleanly, intelligent, 
and industrious, and an inviting charm hangs about 
their cottages, which says to the stranger there is peace 
and comfort within ; and when you enter, you feel you 
are welcome. The Irish greeting cannot be misunder- 
stood ; and here the same kindness and the same order 
prevailed among Catholics as among Protestants. I 
called one Saturday evening at an humble cottage, 
where the children, to the number of five, all took 
their seats unbidden in a corner. Their neatness and 
good conduct caused me to look about more particu- 
larly, and there I saw the signs of a prudent wife and 
mother. " You see," said the young ladies as we pas- 
sed out, " the management of this poor woman ; she is 
always clean, always comfortable, and her children 
always tidy though poor." They had been kept to 
school, and, by the strictest economy, the family had 
never been obliged to trouble their neighbours in sick- 
ness, ever having needful supplies for such exigen- 
cies, though possessing not a farthing but the daily 
labour of the father. They never partake of tea, 
cofiee, or ardent spirits ; or meat, except at Christmas, 

I must leave Wicklow with a grateful remembrance 
of undeserved kindness, for the last words I heard 
were, " My house shall be welcome to you whenever 
you come this way." 

When leaving New York, a friend said to me, 
" Give us all the information of the country you can ; 

64 DUBLIN. [chap. iv. 

but don't touch politics. That is miserable work for a 
woman." But I soon found in Ireland, it was a great 
misfortune that I had not acquainted myself more with 
at least the technicals of the different parties ; many 
egregious blunders might have been saved, and not a 
word need have been spoken. " You had better take the 
Itadiccd to Dublin," said a man, " it is not so crowded 
as the Conservative coach." I nodded assent, without 
knowing the coach virtues of either term, as applicable 
to any thing in my case, or indeed the case of Ireland, 
as I have since known it. I took the Badiccd^ was well 
seated, well used, and found my journey back quite 
the reverse of the sad and savage one down. These 
were CConnell-days, and this Radical was a repeal 
coach. " What do you think of repeal ?" said a well- 
dressed gentleman ; " as I never had the pleasure of 
seeing an American lady before in Irelan(^ I should 
like to know her opinion." "A woman, sir, I am told, 
should not meddle with politics, but this I will venture 
to say, that Ireland ought to be redeemed from her 
bondage, and whether it be done by repeal or some 
other instrument, let it be done." This man was a 
Roman Catholic priest; his parish including the fisher- 
men of Arklow, who were all teetotalers, not one hav- 
ing broken his pledge. He was well skilled in the 
doctrines of his church, but complaisant, and patient 
under contradiction ; and report says he has done much 
to improve the morals and the condition of his people. 
When I alighted, I was determined to remember the 
/2a^ica/ coach, not forgetting the kindness of the driver. 
On the Monday after my return to Dublin, I visited 
the schools originally established and supported by 
Lady Harburton, a lady of great fortune and benevo- 
lence. These schools do much honour to the teachers, 
as well as to the founder. The infant school numbers 
about one hundred and forty, and was conducted like 
those I had been accustomed to see at home. Here 
was a school of little boys, instructed in the scriptures 
and the first rudiments of geography; a privilege 
which, though they were the children of the poor, was 


not denied them, as in Lady Wicklow's schooL The 
school of young girls was as good in arrangement as I 
had ever seen ; order, cleanliness, and attention were 
strikingly manifested. The superintendent was quite 
intelligent, and thorough to the last degree in all her 
investigations. The reading, examination in the scrip- 
tores, in ancient and modem geography, arithmetic 
and grammar, showed honourable faithfulness in both 
teacher and pupil. But I regretted sincerely the se- 
verity of the superintendent. A little more tenderness 
mixed with her rebukes, I could not but think would 
have accomplished as much good, and left a more 
favourable impression on the hearts of the pupils. 
Goldsmith's country schoolmaster did not more richly 
deserve the character of a petty despot, than did this 
otherwise excellent teacher, for if of him it might be 

" Full "well the boding tremblers learned to trace 
The day's disaster in his morning fEice ;" 

of her it might be added, 

" Full well the busy whisper circling round. 
Convey 'd the dismal tidings when she firown'd ;" 

for her frowns were the preludes to heavy blows. 

The children of Catholics composed a respectable 
part of the school ; and if this were a fair specimen of 
schools in Ireland, the children of the country would 
have no claim to pity on the subject of education. 

THE CANAL BOAT. [chap. v. 


The Second Cabin of a Canal-Boat — Much ado about Sixpence 
— A Blind Fiddler— A Jaunting Car Jaunt— Arrival at Kil- 
kenny — Cordial Hospitality — Kilkenny Beggars— Journey to 
Urlingford— A Rural Physician— Ride in a Turf Kish— The 
Poor Widow's Welcome — A Country Dance— Departure of 
an Emigrant — Lamentations thereupon— Kind Reception in 
an intelligent Roman Catholic Family — An Irish Wake — A 
Faction— Fair at Urlingford— Costume of the Peasantry- 
Visit to a National School, 

On the following Thursday I took the fly -boat on 
my way to Kilkenny. When I went to TuUamore, I 
took my seat in the first cabin, but being then closely 
packed with a stiff company, I now preferred to get a 
comfortable seat, to pay less, and learn more of Irish 
character by going in the second cabin. The two last 
objects were realised, and what was lost in honour was 
made up in amusement, for Irish wit had here full 
play. An unfortunate miss from Liverpool, with more 
tongue than brain, opened the scene by telling the 
captain that she paid more, by sixpence, for a ride in 
that dirty ditch, than for crossing the raging billows 
from England ; and besides, a boy in the cabin, bigger 
than she was, had not paid so much. ** But, miss, if 
you please, it's not by weight but by age we go." 
"Age! indeed! and who told you that?" A wag 
from one corner of the boat cried out, " and *spose, 
captain, you take a look of the two jaws on the two 
sides of the tongue." "The divil a bit could ye 
gain by that," answered an old man, " that long loose 
tongue of hers would fret out eleven pair of teeth be- 
fore a hair could turn white on her pate." 

The battle now rose high. 

" And may-be the girl would stand up and show 
how long she is ; and if but a slip, she must surely 
have on leggins." The girl was instantly on her feet. 
" There, do you think I am as big as the boy ?" " And 
that you are," rejoined the captain, " and I think you 


are married/' This she positively denied, and insisted 
on the sixpence. " Will nothing else do ?" said the 
captain ; " I will give you a dinner of beef- steak, and 
pay all expenses of whatever you may choose." " And 
though," said another, " you may have had breakfast, 
you cannot have too much of a good thing ; and if you 
dont choose the steak, you can take the tay and toast." 
'* The sixpence is all I want ; the sixpence is my due ; 
and will you, captain, give me the sixpence ?" 

A fat old woman sat at my side, guarding an enor- 
mous wallet that lay at her feet, with two huge bonnets 
upon her head, which, though by their material, they 
might have been modelled some ages apart, yet by dint 
of bending a little here, and widening largely there, they 
80 exactly fitted that they might be said to be of the 
same ton. This thrifty manager arose in all the ma- 
jesty of matronly experience, and made her way through 
masses of legs and mountains of luggage, till she 
reached the clamorous maiden, who was still standing, 
and demanded an audience : " And sure the like of ye 
couldn't be found in a day's walk in Ireland ; and can't 
ye stop your bawlin' about a paltry sixpence ? and 
Where's the mother that rair'd such a scrawl ? If she's 
out of the ground, why didn't she keep ye under her 
eye till ye had sinse ?" All to no purpose ! she still 
insisted on the sixpence. " Yer a fool, and ther's no 
use in talkin." " And do you think she's the only 
woman that's a fool ?" answered an old man who had 
been snoring in the comer. An old grey haired blind 
fiddler now entered the boat. This gave a new and 
interesting turn to the scene. All eyes were intent, 
and all ready to sit closer, and huddle away baggage, 
to make a "dacent sate" for the fiddler. The old 
woman resumed her position at my side, and the blind 
man took the fiddle from his green bag, and played a 
melancholy air of true ancient Irish. He was a good 
performer, and though he played some lively airs, yet 
to me he seemed not to be at home, but gave them be- 
cause he must. That meek subdued look, which 
always sits on the face of the blind, was emphatically 

68 THE CANAL BOAT. [chap. v. 

his ; old, and trembling with age, he commanded ve- 
neration, while his blindness awoke both the pity and 
benevolence of the passengers. They gladly responded 
to the call of a youth, who said, " If you plase, old man, 
hand out your plate ; 'tis time for a collection." The 
fiddler drew firom his thread-bare vest pocket a little 
tin plate, which the young man passed about, and a few 
shillings were put into the hands of the thankful mu- 
sician, who was then set on shore to make his way to an 
appointment for the evening. These blind fiddlers are 
somewhat numerous, especially in the south of Ireland, 
and are treated with great humanity by all classes. 

The Liverpool girl, who seemed a little composed 
while the fiddler was performing, now reminded us 
that the predominant wish had not yet died, for she 
remarked, " The sixpences were so plenty here for the 
fiddler, I should think you might give me back mine 
that the captain took from me." We now reached 
Athy, and happy was I to exchange the tedious maid 
for a seat on the novel Irish car, with a genteel young 
lady on one side, going to Kilkenny. The rain com- 
menced, which deprived me of seeing the country as I 
wished; but troops of ragged urchins, who rushed 
fix)m the national school, and from every cabin we 
passed, made up the deficiency. I was sitting alone, 
and succeeded, unperceived by the driver, in beckoning 
three of them upon the car. Their ready answers 
solved all my questions about the country, for what 
Paddy left out, Micky could supply, and they manifested 
none of that rudeness which is so often met among 
city boys. We passed a barren spot of country, but 
were soon repaid by here and there a rich domain, 
tenanted by some grasping landlord, who kept the poor 
about him cringing for a day's work at sixpence or 
eightpence a day. A Protestant gentleman joined the 
lady on the other side of the car ; he was a talking 
noviciate, just entered upon his charge. He left in a 
few miles, and a Roman Catholic clergyman, grave in 
demeanour, supplied his place. The young lady had 
the exclusive privilege of both, and my little, civil, and 


profitable companions left the car at the beautiful town 
of Castlecomer, 

We reached Kilkenny, and the young lady left the 
car without bidding me a cold good-bye. In a moment 
she returned with the lady of the house, who in a most 
pleasant manner said, '* Come in, you are an American 
stranger ; come in, and take tea with us, and I will 
send a servant with you to your lodgings." Joyfully 
I accepted the offer, and found within a well ordered 
tastefully arranged house, and the mistress a highly 
accomplished widow, who had been reared in affluence, 
educated in the best manner, and was then engaged in 
teaching. The piano and the harp, the ancient boast 
of Ireland's better days, were there, and the lady, who 
had been educated in a convent, knew well how to 
touch the heart by her melody. Her two little daugh- 
ters, who were but children, did honour to her who 
had trained them with a skilful hand. Never hod I seen 
high birth, beauty, and noble intellectual attainments 
more happily blended with a meek and quiet spirit 
than in this accomplished woman. Though she was a 
Roman Catholic, yet the higher class of Protestants 
were anxious to place their daughters under her care ; 
with this proviso, that a Protestant clergyman should 
visit there weekly, and give religious instruction ; and 
that each day, when prayers were read in the school- 
room, the Protestant children should retire. 

The next day, as I entered the parlour, the young 
Protestants were passing in, while the Catholics were 
praying above — a very accommodating arrangement 
to keep both religions from contamination. 

Being obliged to leave that day, I can say little of 
Ealkenny, only that the streets were narrow, and the 
beggars as saucy as elsewhere, demanding a penny 
after a positive refusal. The coachman and waiters 
were more rapacious than any I had seen ; one posi- 
tively demanded payment for opening the lid of the 
coach-boot, and dropping in a small carpet-bag. Six 
beggars accosted me at once, passing five other per- 
sons who were on the car, till my patience was ex- 

70 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. v. 

changed for disgust. What a disgraceful state of 
things, that a body of people should become public 
nuisances, when there has been no famine nor pesti- 
lence in the land, and where the rich soil might well re- 
ward the husbandman, if the government were suited 
to its condition. 

We set off for Urlingford with a car so loaded, that 
none but Irishmen would have suffered the inconve- 
nience patiently. I was going to Urlingford to visit 
the parents of nine servant girls who had lived with 
me in New York, all from one parish, though of dif- 
ferent families ; and when within five miles of the 
place, I asked the driver if he knew a widow of the 

name of . A commonly dressed man, seated on 

the luggage above my head, stooped down and whis- 
pered, " Are you not Mary H's mistress ?" I answered 
in the affirmative, and he made such an outcry that 
coachman and passengers entreated to know what 
could bewitch the man. He alarmed me, he shook 
me, and called me all manner of good names, regret- 
ting that he was a teetotaller, that he could not 
" trate*' me, that the parish had looked for me till their 
hearts were broke. His volubility never ceased till 
we reached Johnstown, where the car left us, leaving 
a walk of more than two miles, to my destination. 
Here a raspberry cordial was presented to me, and we 
passed through the little village, followed by men, 
women, and children, who were all told by my gallant, 
that I was Mary H.'s mistress. Each one proffered 
the hand, saying, "welcome, welcome to Ireland." 
We entered the house of a man calling himself a doc- 
tor, who showed us to a beautiful garden, when he 
whispered in the ear of my friend, that he wished the 
privilege of removing a wart from my face. I supposed 
some of his medicinal herbs were to be the medicine. 
I declined for the present, when he assured me it was 
by saying a few words over the wart that he could re- 
move it, my guide testifying that he had known many 
a cure in the same way. I begged the miracle might 
be deferred till I could call again, and he then in- 


sisted I should wait and be sent in his car. Assuring 
him the walk would be pleasant, we passed out, and 
were invited into a smoky cabin, and I went through 
the etceteras of an Irish welcome. The doctor's car 
arrived, and proved to be a dray, with a peat-kish 
upon it. To me it was a curiosity. I had seen the 
country-women returning from selling peat, cowering 
in one of these vehicles, but never expected to be so 
elevated myself ; but elevated I was, sitting upon the 
bottom, my back to the horse, and my companion in 
like condition by my side. 

And now began my cabin life. I had read with 
the deepest interest, in the writings of Charlotte 
Elizabeth, that the peasantry of the county of Kil- 
kenny were unrivalled in kindness; but burning 
words from graphic pens would faintly delineate what 
I there experienced from that interesting people. 

We reached our destination, and alighting from the 
kish, I was told, for the honor of the spot, that here, 
some two hundred years ago, lived a noble lord who 
had twenty noble sons. With these he daily rode 
out, with each an attendant, on twenty noble horses, 
all shod with silver shoes. I was desired to stay out- 
side till the way should be prepared for my recep- 
tion. In a moment I was ushered in as a ** fine gal 
he had found in Kilkenny." The family were sitting 
at their supper of potatoes and buttermilk, around a 
naked deal table, upon which the potatoes were poured. 
The widow, two grown up sons, and a grandson, con- 
stituted the group ; and when I was seated, all for a 
moment were silent. " This is Mary's mistress," said 
my companion. Simultaneously every potato was 
dropped, all rose, and with a kind of unaffected dig- 
nity reached me the hand, saying, " Welcome to our 
cabin !" They then sat down and all was silent again. 
•* We've been long waitin' for ye," said the mother, 
" and was in dread that ye might be lost ; but ye must 
be wairy and in want of the tay." I assured her that 
a potato would be a greater relish. " Ye can't ate the 
potatOi" said she,, the sons joining in the assertion. 

72 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap/ v. 

till by actual experiment. I soon convinced them to 
the contrary. The reader should be informed that the 
daughter of this widow had, in three years' service at 
my house, sent home £40, which had not only kept 
her mother in tea and bread, but had given them all the 
" blessed tobacco" beside. " She had been home,*' the 
old woman told me, " on a visit, and made such an over- 
turnin' in the cabin that they had like to be destroyed ; 
not a hap'orth of a pig, duck, or hen, could take 
it's bit in the place ; not a straw could be left upon 
the flure in the mornin' ; and now," she added, " we 
will all be kilt if ye have not a clane bed and a nice 
bit to ate." To do her justice, her place was cleanly, 
although two comely pigs that were fattening for the 
fair, and a goodly number of turkeys and ducks, took 
their repast in the cabin on the remains of the supper. 
My bedstead was behind the cupboard, in the 
kitchen, meeting the wall on one side and the 
cupboard on the other, with a little aperture at the 
head for an entrance. This was the widow's bed-room, 
and here, upon a soft feather bed, I was put ; but the 
sheet, the sheet, — a married daughter had taken her 
clothes to wash, and she must put me in one she had 
used herself. She was greatly troubled. Giving 
her all the comfort in my power on the subject, she 
bade me good night ; and though I would not wish the 
reader ever to be packed in feathers in such a narrow 
box in a hot August night, yet I am not unwilling that 
he should know that my first night in a cabin, with all 
its concomitants, was a sleepless one, and one which 
can never be forgotten. The dawning of light found 
the good woman stealthily peeping around the cup- 
board, and with a shake of the head, " I heard her 
whisper, " Ah ! she didn't lie down in her bed, the 
cratur." She crept to the hearth, made her peat-fire, 
swept every vestige of dirt from the earthen floor, and 
sat down to smoke. Her sons soon joined her, each 
in his turn taking a " blast at the pipe," and then 
walked slowly out, "for," said the mother, "she's 
wairy, and a fut of ye mustn't be movin'." That day 


was a memorable one. In this parish lived a young 
married girl who had been a servant in my house in 
New York, she had returned and was living a mile 
distant ; she had been aroused at midnight by the men 
who conducted me to the parish, and early the next 
morning she was at the door. Anne was young, 
Jbandsome, and tidy, and had been a great favourite in 
my house. I was a little concealed when she entered, 
and did not recognise her till she fell on my neck and 
wept. " Ah ! and it's ye that may bawl, when yer 
two eyes meet the one that took you a slip, and made 
ye the thriftiest woman for the man that owns ye in 
all the parish." Anne spoke not, nor could she for 
«ome time. *^ And do I see you ? and what can we 
do for you in this humble place ? John is waiting to 
see you, but would not come with me, tiU I had seen 
you first.** " Ah ! and John's the lad that's caught the 
clane bird." " What shall we do for you ?" was 
again the question. " You cannot stay in our cabins ; 
they are not fitting ; you must come with me ; I know 
best what you want, and will get what you say." 
The whole parish was now in a stir, work was sus- 
pended, and a general levee held. They talked of 
building bonfires ; they talked of uniting and buying 
a sheep to kill, though not one had eaten a dinner of 
flesh since Christmas. The grey-headed and the little 
child were there to welcome me, to thank me for 
" thinking of the like of such poor bodies," and from 
some miles around visitors called before the setting of 
the sun to look at the American stranger, and bid her 
God speed. " What will she ate, the cratur ? it's not 
the potato that raired her." Two children begged 
the honor of going seven miles in quest of fruit, and 
went. Night and rain overtook them, yet they per- 
severed, slept away through the night, and cheerfully 
returned the next day with two pears and a spoonful 
of blackberries, which was all they could procure. 
AU went away sorrowful that so " nice a body should 
be so trated/' and aU asked me to visit their cabins, 
" though they were not fittin' for such a lady." 


74 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. v. 

The next morning Anne again called to invite me 
to her hduse, and to say she had been sent by a few in 
the pari^, to invite me to attend a field dance which 
was to be on the next day, and the Sabbath. In sur- 
prise I was about to answer, when Anne said, "I knew 
you would not, and told them so, but they begged I 
would say that they had no other day, as all were at 
work, and sure God wouldn't be hard upon 'em, when 
they had no other time, and could do nothing else for 
the stranger." I thanked them heartily for their kind 
feelings, and declined. Judge ray confusion, when 
about sunset on Sabbath evening, just after returning 
from Johnstown, where I had attended church, the cabin 
door opened, and a crowd of all ages walked in, de- 
cently attired for the day, and without the usual wel- 
comes or any apology, the hero who first introduced 
me seated himself at my side, took out his flute, wet 
his fingers, saying, «* This is for you, Mrs. N. and 
what will you have ?" A company were arranged for 
the dance, and so confounded was I that my only 
answer was, " I cannot tell." He struck up an Irish 
air, and the dance began. I had nothing to say, taken 
by surprise as I was ; my only strength was to sit still. 

This dance finished, the eldest son of my hostess 
advanced, made a low bow, and invited me to lead the 
next dance. I looked on his glossy black slippers, his 
blue stockings snugly fitted up to the knee, his cor- 
duroys above them, his blue coat and brass buttons, 
and had no reason to hope that, at my age of nearly 
half a century, I could ever expect another like offer. 
However I was not urged to accept it. Improper as it 
might appear, it was done as a civility, which, as a 
guest in his mother's house and a stranger, he thought, 
and all thought (as I was afterwards told) he owed me. 
The cabin was too small to contain the three score and 
ten who had assembled, and with one simultaneous 
movement, without speaking, all rushed out, bearing 
me along, and placed me upon a cart before the door, 
the player at my right hand. And then a dance began, 
which, to say nothing of the day, was to me of no 


ordinary kind. Not a laugh — not a loud word was 
heard ; no affected airs, which the joung are prone to 
assume ; but as soberly as though they were in a fune- 
ral procession, thev danced for an hour, wholly for my 
amusement, and for my welcome. Then each ap- 
proached, gave me the hand, bade me God speedy 
leaped over the style,^and in stillness walked away. 
It was a true and hearty Irish welcome, in which the 
aged as well as the young participated. A matron of 
sixty, of the Protestant faith, was holding by the hand 
a grandchild of seven years, and standing by the cart 
where I stood ; and she asked when they had retired, 
if I did not enjoy it ? " What are these wonderful 
people ?* was my reply. I had never seen the like. 
I visited the dwelling of Anne, and found her with 
many little comforts not common to her class, "Why 
do you not wear a bonnet 7* I enquired. " I came 
back," she replied, "from New York to live in a cabin, 
and I must not put myself above others who associate 
with me.'' John was industrious and thrifty, and proud 
of a visit from the mistress of the girl who had come 
from the other side of the waters. Twice while in the 
parish a cleanly-dressed woman called to see me, but 
aid not invite me to her cabin, because, she said, she 
would be ashamed to do so, though she really wished 
me to go. I was told of it, and the third time she 
called, I asked if I might accompany her home. She 
was delighted, and said, " I was in dread to ask ye, 
but was ashamed." Her cabin was perfect neatness. 
At night, under pretence of getting a bucket of water 
at a distant spring, she walked an Irish mile to buy a 
penny roll of coarse bread for me — a loaf of bread she 
had not seen in her cabin that summer. Slipping it 
into my hand, she said, "Don't let William know it, or I 
must tell where I got the penny." I called at the hum- 
blest place I had ever seen one morning, and found a 
poor widow and her daughter eating tiieir potatoes. 
I went out, and soon reached a running stream so deep 
that I could not cross without wading. While I hesi- 
tated what to do, the widow called after me, " Stop, 


76 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. v. 

lady, and FU carry ye on my back, ye'll be destroyed." 
She had pulled off her shoes and stockings in her hut, 
and ran after me, and though small in stature, yet she 
assured me she was " strong, and sure on the fut," — 
and could carry me safely. I positively refused such 
a compliment from grey hairs, eifid with great difficulty 
turned her back, and went myself in another direction. 
A sister of Anne's was about setting off for New 
York to look for service. Two brothers and two sis- 
ters had previously gone there, and succeeded well. 
She was to go with three others at ten o'clock in the 
evening, for Dublin. The time arrived, and the 
whole parish, young men and maidens, aged men 
and children, had assembled. For an hour previous 
all was silent. The hour drew near, the girl arose, 
flung herself upon the neck of a young companion, 
and gave a most piteous howl. It was reciprocated by 
the other, who cried, " Aw, Kitty, will ye crass the 
wide ocean, and will we never again dance in the 
field? O my darlin, my comrade, and why will ye go? 
O oh! and what will we do ?" Kisses and sobs sup- 
pressed further utterance. The aged mother then 
approached. " O mavoumeen, and why do ye break 
the heart of her who raired ye ? Was there no turf 
in the bog — no pratees in the pit— that ye leave the 
hairth of yer poor ould mother? O my darlin', my only 
voumeen, and it's nine of ye Tve raired, and as soon 
as yer heels are out of the ashes, ye run away from me, 
my darlin'. And what will ye do in the wilds of 
America ?" She clapped her hands, and cried, " My 
darlin', my fair haiPd darlin', and was it for this I 
raired ye?" The howling now became louder, one 
after another arose, and united in the lamentation.* 
Then a man from the midst cried out, '* And be gone 
from the house, and stop your bawlin'; ye go to sarve 
yourselves, and why do ye bawl about the thing that's 
yer own choosin' ?" He elevated a stick he had in his 
hand, and made a signal towards the door. All rushed 
forth, following the girls to the car, and the burst was 
more violent — the welkin resounded with bowlings. 


while the mother sat down in the comer upon a bench, 
clapping her hands, rocking her body, and muttering, 
*• O, aw, my fair hair'd little girl, and why did I say ye 
might go ? Ah, fool that I was, and these ould eyes 
will never see ye again. Ye'r gone, my girl, ma- 
voumeen, my darlin'." 

An invitation had been sent me from Urlingford to 
visit a family of respectability, a son of which was in 
New York. This invitation introduced me to the 
families of the gentry, some of whom I found intelli- 
gent, and all hospitable and well bred. In the family 
of a :flourishing shop-keeper I passed many pleasant 
and profitable days. The man had thought of many 
things besides selling broad-cloths and muslins, though 
he had made quite a fortune by that. They were Ro- 
man Catholics ; unwavering in their opinions, but not 
illiberal to those who differed from them. A Bible 
was in the bouse, and presented to me whenever I 
might wish to use it. I was present more than once 
when the family were assembled at evening for prayers, 
and they kindly said, " We will not ask you into the 
room, as it might be unpleasant; we wish every person 
to enjoy his religion in his own way." 

In this family I attended a wake, the first I had seen 
in Ireland. An aged woman, the mother of the shop* 
keeper, died while I was there ; ninety years had whi- 
tened her locks ; she had been a useful mother, trained 
her children to habitsof industry, and lived to see them 
thriving in business, and respected in the world. On 
her tongue had been the law of kindness, and her hands 
were always stretched out to the poor and needy. 
When I visited the house of her son, feeble as she was, 
she would leave her chamber, and go into the kitchen 
to take care that my dinner was suited to my taste. 
The workmen in the house were her peculiar care. 
From many miles round the rich and the poor assem- 
bled. " Never/' said one, <* when I was a slip of a boy, 
did I go on a mornin' to buy the loaf at her shop, but 
she put a bit of bread in my hand to ate on my way 
home.'' She was laid in an upper chamber, upon a 

78 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. v. 

bed covered with white ; she was dressed in a dark 
brown frock, with white ruffles at the wrist ; a square 
cloth fringed with white was on her breast, with the 
initials of the order of the " Blessed Virgin," to which 
she belonged. A neat white cap, with black ribbon, 
and a white handkerchief about her neck finished the 
dress. Curtains of white, tied with black ribbons, 
were about her bed ; and the usual appendages of can- 
dles and consecrated clay were at the foot, with a 
picture of the Virgin and Child hanging over her head. 
The house was large ; every room was occupied, and 
though the attendants were gathering from neighbour- 
ing parishes through the night, yet all was stillness. 
** In former days," whispered an aged matron, « ye 
would not see it so ; before Father Mathew put down 
the whiskey, it would frighten the life of ye. A bucket 
of whiskey would be on the flure, with a cup in it, and 
not a sowl on *em but would take the sup till their brain 
would be crack'd; and then the singin', the jum- 
ping and tearin*, till the priest would be called in with 
his whip, and bate 'em, the divils, till they all was 
quiet." Here was no liquor, but cordials ; a warm 
supper in the different rooms was prepared, and every 
new guest was invited to sit down and partake. Here 
the rich and the poor had " met together" to mingle 
their tears, and not an untidy garment pained the eye. 
The hour of burial was six in the morning. At five, 
a breakfast of steak, ham, and fowl was provided for 
the nearer friends, and those who were to accompany 
the corpse seven miles, where it was to be interred. 
The corpse was then put into a cofiin of black, with 
the consecrated clay about it, and was placed upon the 
bed ; the family came in, and gave her the parting kiss ; 
one servant, who had been a labourer about the pre- 
mises for years, went to the coffin, looked at her for a 
moment, kissed her, then covered his face with both 
hands, and burst into loud weeping. " Well may he 
cry, poor Pat I" said a servant girl, " for many a good 
bit has he had from her hand ; and when I come to 
the side of her bed a few days ago, she said, << Do take 


care of poor Pat, and see that he has enough to eat. 
I am afraid he will be neglected when I am gone.'' 
Poor Pat was simple. These testimonials of kindness 
to the poor are precious mementos of the dead, and will 
be held in sweet remembrance, while the memory of the 
oppressor shall rot. 

The white linen was taken from abont the bed, 
pinned over the heads of the old women, and tied in 
the middle of their backs by black ribbon ; the coffin 
was placed upon the body of a carriage, and the two old 
women were seated upon it. The driver, with a band 
of white linen about his hat, led on the long proces- 
sion. It was a Sabbath morning ; the sun was rising ; 
I thought of the sepulchre ; I thought of the women 
that were early there ; I saw the stone that was rolled 
away ; I looked in ; I saw the clean linen in which 
Joseph had wrapped the body : I knew the Saviour 
had risen, and I turned away to think of the wake at 

Sa^rdat/ evening. — After having paid an agreeable 
visit in the vicinity, I started by moonlight on a car 
for Urlingford, accompanied by a faithful servant 
girl, to guide the horse. I sat with my back towards 
the animal ; for this is the way of riding on a " common 
car." When within a mile of the town, we heard 
music, and supposed it to be one of the Temperance 
bands with which the country abounds. But on coming 
nearer, we saw a motley company of men and women, 
with spades and baskets, some on foot and some on 
cars, following the sound of fife, flute, and drum ; and 
upon enquiry we found it was " the faction.'* 

The custom of the peasantry, in this part at least of 
the country, has been to assemble in hundreds, and 
reap down a harvest, or dig a farmer's potatoes, taking 
their musicians with them, who play through the day 
to amuse the labourers, and escort them home at night. 
This they never do but for those whom they respect, 
and the generous farmer who has fed and paid his la- 
bourers well, is sure to meet with a return of this kind. 
Women will go out and bind sheaves, rake, and toss 

80 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. v. 

hay, pick up potatoes, &c. ; and the sight to a stranger 
is not only novel, but pleasing. The ambition mani- 
fested to accomplish much, and to do it well, is often 
beyond that of a paid labourer, and the hilarity over 
their dinner and supper of potatoes, and butter, and 
" sup of milk," is to a generous mind a pleasant sight ; 
for, drunk or sober, rich or poor, it is the Irishman's 
character to remember a kindness, and to do what he 
can to repay it. We passed this interesting company, 
listening to their music till it died away in the distance ; 
and though I knew they were going home to lie down 
in floorless cabins, with no prospect of better days, yet 
for the moment I saw more to envy than to pity ; for 
these people are so happy with little, and make so 
much from nothing, that you often find them enjoying 
when others would be repining. 

I had seen a dance, a wake, and a faction, but had 
never seen a fair ; and being invited to occupy a seat 
in a chamber at Urlingford, which overlooked the field 
of action, I did so. " You'll not see such fun, ma'am, 
now," said my companion, " as you would have seen 
before the days of Father Matthew. Then we had a 
power ot bloody noses, broken bones, and fine work 
for the police ; but ye'll see fine cattle, and fat pigs ; 
and may-be it's the bagpipes ye'd like." 

By ten o'clock all was in motion, and fatter cattle, 
fijier pigs, fowls, and butter (none of which could the 
peasant ever enjoy) never adorned a fair. The first 
interesting object which closely fixed my attention 
was a rosy-cheeked, short, plump girl of about twenty, 
perched upon a stand, crying like an auctioneer, "Come, 
boys, here's the chance ; only a ha'penny ! Come now 
while it's a goin' ; try your luck." What this luck 
could be I could not make out ; the ha'pennies were 
continually pouring in, but what was the equivalent 
was not explained till all was over. She had a lottery- 
bag, containing all sorts of trifles, their names written 
on tickets, such as pins, needles, combs, tapes, ribbons, 
thread, &c. The purchaser drew a ticket from the 
bag, and might find perhaps a great pin, a needle, or a 


bit of tape ; now and then the anxious eyes of the ex- 
pectant might greet an article of value twice the worth 
of his ha'penny, while many went away with sorrowful 
hearts. It was said her lottery-bag at night was an 
exulting remuneration for her day's exertion, the cost 
of all that it contained in the morning being but very 
trifling. A ludicrous lesson of unlettered human na- 
ture was displayed by a company of tinkers selling 
asses. To recommend his own, to lower the value of 
his neighbour's, and to be heard above the rest, is the 
struggle of every dealer in these commodities. To 
accomplish these desirable objects, it must not be 
supposed that the forms of etiquette would be strictly 
regarded, and sometimes a box on the ear or the cheek, 
and a pulling of caps^ if not of hair, among the women, 
(for the wives of these operatives are on the spot also) 
make up a ludicrous variety. The dress and dialect, 
the developement of self, the spontaneous wit, with 
the humble appearance of the uncomplaining donkey, 
make the scene to an unaccustomed eye one of amusing 

One matron was this day carried from the field by 
the police. Leaving my eminence, I mingled in the 
group, hoping to be unobserved ; but the good cabin 
woman, Mary's mother, found me out, and invited me 
into a house. I soon found Father Mathew was not 
there, for a young female was dealing out <^ the good 
creature" to a happy company ; bagpipes were playing 
in the street door, and a jolly group were keeping time 
overhead by loud stamping. I was invited into a 
back apartment, where sat a company of men and 
women at the upper end of the table, with bread, tea, 
and whiskey before them, and a huge hog, dressed for 
the market, swinging to and fro over the lower end. 
"Welcome, welcome to Ireland!" came from every 
mouth, accompanied by a bowl of tea from a man, and 
a glass of whiskey from a woman. This finished the 
Urlingford fair ; and turning away, I left the room 
without either tea or whiskey. 

The fair, as a whole, was not censurable ; never on 


82 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. v. 

any public day in any country had I heard so little 
profanity and noise, or seen so little disorder and dis- 
puting, the tinkers excepted. The peasants, too, were 
tidily dressed, and with great uniformity ; . the men 
in blue coats, corduroy breeches, and blue stock- 
ings; whilst a blue petticoat, with a printed dress 
turned back and pinned behind, coarse shoes, and 
blue or black stockings, (when they have shoes) a 
blue cloak, with a hood to put over the head, in 
case of rain, constitute the dress of the women ; and 
thus attired, a Kilkenny peasant seeks no change in 
storm or sunshine. The habits of cooking and eating 
have scarcely varied for two centuries ; their cabins, 
their furniture, have undergone little or no change ; 
the thatched roofs, the ground floor, the little window, 
the stone or mud wall, the peat fire, the clay chimney, 
the wooden stool, the pot, and the griddle, have pro- 
bably been the inheritance of many generations. As 
to cleanliness, their habits are varied, as with all other 
people ; and if few are scrupulously tidy, few are dis- 
gustingly filthy. Though every peasant in the Eme- 
rald Isle knows that he belongs to the " lower order," 
(for his teachers and landlords are fond of telling him 
80,) the Kilkenny rustic, by his self-possessed manner 
in presence of his superior, says, ** I also am a man ;" 
and you do not see that cringing servility ; you do not 
hear " yer honour," " yer reverence," <* my lord," and 
** my lady" so frequently as among many of their class 
in other parts of Ireland. They are not so wretchedly 
poor as many ; for though few can afford the " mate," 
except at Christmas or Easter, yet most of them can 
purchase an occasional loaf, and " the sup of tay," and 
all can, and all do, by " hook or by crook," get the 
" blessed tobacco." They are fond of dancing, and a 
child is taught it in his first lessons of walking. The 
bagpipes and fiddle are ever at their feasts, especially 
the latter ; and the blind performer always receives a 
cordial " God bless you." The sweet harp has long 
since lost her strings, except perhaps in some ancient 
family, and there it is nursed as some valued plant, and 
kept as a memento of ancient Tara's halls. The gene- 


ration that is passing away have but little education ; 
many of them cannot read, but the children are rapidly 
advancing. The national schools are doing much 
good. One which I visited in Urlingford gave the 
best specimen of reading I ever heard in any country. 
A class of boys read a chapter on the nature of the 
atmosphere ; the teacher then requested them to give 
a specimen of synonymous reading. This was I'eadily 
done, by dropping every noun, in the course of the 
lesson, and giving a corresponding one of the same im- 
port. It was so happily executed, that the listener 
would not imagine but the word was read out of the 
book I was handed a book, and was requested to 
select a chapter where I pleased. I did so, and in no 
case did a pupil hesitate to read fluently. Their spe- 
cimens of writing were praiseworthy, and their know- 
ledge of arithmetic in all the schools is beyond what I 
could expect. 


Cabin Life — Urlingford Spa— Rebuff firom a Clergyman— New 
Birmingham Colliery — Village of Grange — The Police— A 
Good Methodist— Mr. Barker of Kilcooley— Yankee Doo- 
die — Residence in the Neighbourhood — ^Visit to Thurles — 
Ancient Abbey of Holy Cross— Journey to Clonmel, Dun- 
garvan, and Cappoquin — ^Visit to the 'Arappist Monastery of 
Mount Mellary. 

The habits of cabin life and cabin hospitality have 
80 much sameness, that the specimen which follows may 
answer for the whole. 

I had walked much through the day, and about 
seven in the evening reached the cabin of a woman 
whose daughter had been a servant in my house in 
New York. My reception was most cordial. In a 
comer, where a bed might have stood, was a huge 
bank of turf, and a pile of straw for the pigs. There 
was but one room beside, and the family consisted of 

84 CO. OF KILKENNT. [chap vi. 

some five or six individuals. The cabin door being 
open, the pigs, geese, ducks, hens, and dogs walked in 
and out at option. 

After the usual salutations, the girl was bidden to 
go out and dig some potatoes ; the pot was hung over 
the fire, the potatoes were boiled, the table was re- 
moved into the adjoining room, and a touch from the 
finger of the matron was the signal forme to follow her 
into supper. On a naked deal table stood a plate of 
potatoes and a mug of milk, of which I was invited to 
partake. The potatoes must be eaten from the hand, 
without knife, fork, or plate ; and the milk taken in 
sups from the mug. I made no delay, but applied 
my nails to divesting the potato of its coat, and my 
hostess urged the frequent use of the milk, saying, " it 
was provided on purpose for you, and you must take 
it." It must be remembered that a sup of sweet milk 
among the poor in Ireland, is as much a rarity and a 
luxury as a slice of plum-pudding in a farm-house in 
America. I ate plentifully, both from hunger and 
courtesy, and we then returned to the kitchen. 

The good man of the house soon entered, and gave 
me as hearty a welcome as an Irishman could give ; 
and the neighbouring women and children gathered in, 
till the pile of turf and every stool was occupied. A 
cheerful peat fire was burning upon the hearth ; the 
children were snugly cowered in each corner; two 
•large pigs walked in, and adjusted their nest upon the 
straw ; two or three straggling hens were about the 
room, which the woman caught, and raising the broken 
lid of a chest in one end of the apartment, she put 
them in ; the dog was bidden to drive out the geese ; 
the door was shut, and the man then turning to me, 
said, << You see how these pigs know their place, and 
when it's a little cowld not a haporth of 'em will stay out 
of doors; and we always keep a handful of straw in that 
corner for their bed." The company seemed quite 
inclined to stay ; but the good woman, looking well to 
my comfort, called me at an early hour to the next 
room, and pointing to a bed which had been erected 


for my accommodation^ said, " This troop here wotdd 
be talking all night ; ye must be tired, and see what 
I've got for ye." This was a bed fixed upon chairs^ 
and made so wide that two could occupy it ; and she 
assured me that so glad was she to see me, that she 
would sleep in a part of it by my side. It was certainly 
an extra extension of civility to leave the good man^ 
who, by the way, had two daughters and a son of six- 
teen to sleep under the same covering, and in the 
same room with us. His bed was made of a bundle or 
two of straw spread upon rough sticks^ and a decent 
woollen covering put over it. My bed, so far as sheets 
were concerned, was certainly clean, and in a few mo- 
ments the kind woman and her husband and children 
were quietly laid to rest for the night. When all was 
still, a half hour of profitable reflection prepared me 
for a sweet night of rest. 

In my own native land I had slept under rich cano- 
pies, in stately mansions of the rich, in the plain, 
wholesome dwelling of the thrifty farmer, the log-cabin 
of the poor, and under tents on the hunting-ground of 
the Indian, but never had I been placed where poverty, 
novelty,' and kindness were so happily blended. I fell 
asleep, nor did the barking of a dog, the squealing of 
a pig, or the breathing of man, woman, or child arouse 
me, till I heard, at sun -rising, " Well, Maggie, how 
are ye this momin' ? D'ye know I was lonesome with- 
out ye." " God be praised," responded the good wo- 
man, "and I hope ye are well, Johnny." I looked 
into the Castle at Windsor, where Prince Albert, Vic- 
toria, and the young princes were reclining, and I 
very much queried whether their feelings were more 
kindly or more happy this morning, than were those of 
these unsophisticated peasants. 

Now for the breakfast. The good man and the 
children had eaten their potatoes before I left the bed- 
room ; and when I went out, ** Maggie," said the hus- 
band, "will ye do as I desired ye ?" " To be sure I 
will," said Maggie, putting her cloak over her head, 
and going out Giving me "God bless yez,*' and 

86 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. vi. 

tendering his best thanks, he said, << I must go into 
town, and leave ye ; God speed ye on yer journey, and 
bless ye, for coming to see the poor." 

An hour passed before Maggie returned, for she had 
ditches to cross and hedges to pass, to get a piece of 
bread for the " American stranger." The table was 
spread with bread, butter, a cup of tea, and a sup of 
milk. The tea and butter I declined, (as I do not use 
these articles,) but the bread and sup of milk made 
me a comfortable breakfast. 

When I had finished, and the women and children 
had called in from abroad, to say good-bye to the 
^ American stranger,'^ my kind hostess said, '< I must 
show ye to the road, which will save ye a good bit ; 
for I love ye as well as I do my own gal that sarved 
ye." The walk was long and somewhat difficult, but 
the kindness and cheerfuhiess of my good guide made 
it quite tolerable. After setting me in a straight 
course, she said, " And the good God bless ye, and 
speed ye on yer return to your own country, and 
bless ye well, the cratur ! for comin' to see us." 

Urlingford Spa is supposed to contain mineral qua- 
lities of a medicinal nature so efficacious, that for years 
it has been quite a resort for invalids from various 
parts of the country. A brother of the good woman 
with whom I had first lodged, kept a house for the 
accommodation of visitors, and had invited me to visit 
them and pass the night. A four miles walk up a 
tedious hill made the sight of the thatched inn a wel- 
come treat to my eyes. The family consisted of the 
£ather and mother, three daughters, and a son or two, 
who all assured me they were *' right glad to see me." 
But the house was so filled with company, that they 
had no room to put me in but the kitchen. << What 
must be done ?" was the question. " Where must the 
cratur be put, and what would she ate ?" I assured 
them that no delicacy or luxury was required, and a 
piece of bread and a couple of pears made me a com- 
fortable meal ; and the old man taking a hint from his 
spouse that the room was wanted^ invited me to visit 


the Spa. A little stone enclosure, with a gate, secured 
the well from intruders. The water was running from 
a little pipe into a reservoir, and here had people of all 
nations resorted for more than a century; yet no bath- 
ing establishment had been provided, nor were any 
accommodations prepared for the visitor, except what 
a thatched cabin, with corresponding conveniences, 
could afford. 

A dandy with whip and cap came driving up in a 
single gig, drawn by a prancing horse. Addressing in 
Irish the old woman who was attending at the water- 
pipe, they held a jovial chat At length, taking out 
his watch, and saying, ^ I must be off ; it's my dinner 
hour ;" he whirled away : and as he turned to go, a 
young woman remarked to me, *^ He's a humorous 
fellow ; he's always the same, as full of fun as ye see 
him now." I enquired who he was. She replied, 
" The priest of the parish — a Catholic, to be sure, 
ma'am." " He seems to be very well fed," I remarked. 
" And why shouldn't he," was her reply, " when he 
has a large domain, and every thing in his house — 
money and attendants in plenty ?" The old man now 
invited me to take a view of the country, from the top 
of an eminence which overlooked a valley that extended 
for many miles on either hand, whilst immense ranges 
of mountains, at a distance, surrounded the whole. 
The view was beautifully grand; the air was the purest 
and sweetest imaginable, and the fields of grain in 
every direction invited the sickle; the hawthorn hedges, 
cutting in fanciful sections the whole landscape, di- 
vided one kind from another in tasteful variety; while 
the white cattle, which now so much abound in Ire- 
land, and the white thatched cottages of the peasant, 
were spotting hiU and dale. We then descended, and 
entered the door of the good man, when a sister met 
us, saying, " I don't know where in the world, ma'am, 
we can put ye, for the rooms are all full." I felt the 
repulse keenly ; for my long and fatiguing walk, and 
the lateness of the hour, made it look like an impos- 
sibility to proceed any further. I sat down upon a 

88 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. vi.. 

Stone at the gate, not knowing what next to do, when 
two stout Irishmen, who were lodgers in the house, 
kindly approached, saying, " Do'nt sit here, ma'am ; 
walk in ; surely there must be some place for a stran- 
ger." I refused, saying I could rest where I sat, as 
the family had informed me there was no room for me 
in the house. For a time the case looked desperate, 
for I had been previously told that every cabin was 
full, and it was quite too late to walk four miles to find 
a lodging. The old man and his wife now came, and 
stood in silence leaning upon the wall over the place 
where I was sitting, seeming to say, " I wish I could 
find a place for ye ; for ye're a stranger." 

At length the old man, seconded by his wife, said, 
" Come in, come in, and sit in the kitchen ; ye can't stay 
here ; we're sorry we can't do better ; we had hoped 
that some of our lodgers would have gone before ye 
come, for we wanted ye here." I followed them into 
their floorless kitchen. Sitting by a comfortable turf 
fire, I became drowsy ; the two kind Irishmen were 
sitting in the room, and supposing me to be asleep, 
one said, "Poor thing! she must feel quair in a 
strange country alone. I wonder how her people 
would trate a stranger in her situation — would they 
trate her tenderly ?" " Aw ! to be sure they would," 
answered his friend ; " the Americans have always 
showed great love for the Irish." " To be sure they 
have," answered the woman of the house. Thinking 
it time to awake, I enquired the time; it was late, and 
I had not been told that a lodging could be provided ; 
and rising from my chair, I said, ** I must seek some 
place to stop for the night." " And that ye won't," 
responded the woman, " we will do what we can." 
And her husband, with much decision, said, " ye can't 
and shan't go." The question was thus settled, and a 
daughter was sent out to get a bed from a neighbour's, 
which she brought in upon her back, and adjusted 
upon chairs ; and after a repast of some potatoes and 
salt, without knife or fork, I lay down in the kitchen 
in a clean bed, and not a being in all Ireland slept 


more sweetly than I, with my body-guard wrapped in 
her cloak on the floor at my side. 

I arose refreshed, and after taking my breakfast of 
the same materials as the supper, I said good morning, 
and resumed my journey. A long walk down the 
hill led me near the extensive domain of a Protes- 
tant clergyman, on whom I had been requested to call, 
as a frank, intelligent man, who could give me infor- 
mation concerning Protestantism in the part of the 
country where he was located. I had called the day 
before, and was told by a man servant that he had 
gone to Kilkenny with his wife, and would be back in 
the evening. " Call," said he, " in the morning, and 
he will be at home.'* The hall-door was open when I 
ascended the steps. A well-dressed lady crossed the 
hall without welcome or nod. I rang the bell, and the 
same servant appeared, saying, << The master has not 
returned." I hesitated, having no doubt that the per- 
son who crossed the hall was his wife; and descending 
to the next lower step, I leaned against the railing. 
The servant walked in, and in a moment the door was 
shut in a violent manner, and I walked away. He 
had a rich living, and read his prayers weekly to a 
flock of perhaps one in one hundred of the population 
of his parish. 

My next visit was to the Colliery at New Birming- 
ham. At an early hour the vehicle was to set off on 
which I was to have a seat. This was a baker's cart, 
and I was perched on the top of the box, with no 
resting place for my feet but the back of the horse, 
which required some exertion for me to reach, as 
well as strength of nerve to keep them there. A 
brother of like occupation with my companion ac- 
companied us, and as the carts passed the cabin, 
the inmates poured out, not only to see the " Ameri- 
can stranger," but to admire the throne on which 
she was elevated. The merry driver did his duty 
in pointing out every object of curiosity on the 
road, as well as procuring me a welcome to Ireland 
from every man, woman, and child that we met, and 

90 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vi. 

an invitation to call on them on my return. One old 
man crossed a field to see me and invite me to his house, 
saying, " I have heard of ye, and I give ye a hearty 
welcome to our poor country." Promising all as I 
passed that I would call on my return, we moved 
slowly through the settlement. Reaching the foot of 
a hill, at the comer of a wall lay a female wrapped in 
a cloak. Approaching her, I uncovered her face; 
she looked slily upon me, and drew the cloak over her 
head, when the driver called out, " She will not 
speak to ye ; she is a silly cratur, who sleeps out of 
doors, going where she pleases ; and when the storm 
is strong, somebody gets her and locks her in ; but 
she bawls so loud they can't keep her ; she's innocent, 
and has lived so for years." 

A few little neat houses now opened upon us in a 
village called Grainge, and the police, (who are met all 
over this country, giving quite a relief to the eye,) 
came out from the barracks, and gave me a hearty 
welcome. " And did you come from America to see 
ns^-from that fine country ? and when do you return ? 
I want to go to that land. I wish I could go with 
ye." I asked, " Have you business enough to give 
you exercise?" "No indeed! Father Mathew has 
so changed every thing, that our profession is en- 
tirely needless in some parts of the country." "I 
wish I was in America, and so do we i^" said 

A company of labourers repairing the road now 
stopped as I approached. " And how much do you 
have for this work ?" I. inquired. " But a little en- 
tirely ; scarcely enough to give us bread ; and when 
do ye go back ? I wish I was there." " And how 
much do you get a day ?" " Eight pence, ma'am ; 
and it's but a little of the time we get that." " And 
what do you eat ?" " Eat ! ma'am, we eat potatoes 
when we can get *em, and right glad too we are to 
have 'em." " And have you no bread ?" *' Bread ! 
ma'am. Faith ! that we don't ; if we can get a sup 
of milk once a day, or a little salt, it's all we look for." 


** And how can you live on such scanty fare ?" " We 
can't die, plase God ! and so we must live." " Are 
ye all teetotallers ?" " Indeed we are ; and have ye 
any in America ? and are you one, ma'am ?" On my 
answering in the affirmative, and bidding them good 
morning, they all said, "God speed ye! God bless 
ye ! and I wish I could go with ye." 

These poor creatures, wherever I go, are truly ob- 
jects of great compassion. They are subjected to a 
virtual slavery, which is but a step in advance of the 
condition of the American negro. 

I could not escape a house or cabin without being 
accosted, and I wa&ed the distance of three miles up 
and down a hill with all sorts of company; some 
coming to meet me, and invite me in to rest, offering 
me a potato, or some milk ; till at length a man was 
called in from the field by his daughter, to show me 
the colliers at the mines. The machinery was in 
operation, and the mines were eighty yards under 
ground, for the distance of three-quarters of a mile. 

My letter of introduction was to Mr. Scanlan, a Lo- 
cal Methodist preacher, who acted as agent among the 
miners, and also as a kind of missionary. His good 
wife sent a little daughter to show me to his office. 
He received me kindly, explained the machinery, etc. 
and introduced me to the miners, who welcomed me 

This agent was in appearance all that a Christian 
should be ; unassuming, and full of that benevolence 
which does not exhaust itself by words and tears, but 
makes sacrifices of individual ease to promote the good 
of others. He possessed talents which would adorn a 
higher station than that of weighing coal and inspect- 
ing mines ; but for a small salary he is spending his 
time, and truly " condescending to men of low estate," 
to do what must be done, and what few possessing his 
abilities would be willing to do. " Tell your mother," 
he said to his daughter, " that she must not let Mrs. N. 
leave us to-night." His wife willingly seconded the 

92 CO. OF TTPPERARY. [chap. vi. 

hospitable invitation, and my stay was protracted to 
two nights. 

This mother acted as school-teacher to her children, 
who were seven in number, and appeared to be tract- 
able pupils ; they were instructed to fear God and keep 
his commandments, as the whole duty of man. I re- 
gretted leaving this family, who had made ray stay so 
pleasant ; and leaving them, too, buried in coal-pits, and 
deprived of the privilege of educating their children, or 
enjoying life more congenial to minds of their stamp. 

I visited the house and pleasure-grounds of an es- 
tated gentleman near the mines. The gardener kindly 
showed me the grounds of his master, presented me 
with such fruits and vegetables as he thought I liked, 
and introduced me to the dairy-maids, who showed me 
the Irish manner of making a kind of cream -cheese. 
This is done by putting the thick sour cream into a 
cloth, hanging it up till the thinner part has dropped 
from it, and then putting it into a hoop like a sieve, 
and pressing it down tightly. The house was elegant, 
the ottomans and stools covered with needle- work 
wrought by the hands of the mother and daughters. 
The servants spoke kindly of the master and mistress. 
It is quite pleasing to find, here and there, a landlord 
who sheds comparative comfort on his domestics and 
poor tenants, and gives them cause to bless rather than 
curse him in their hearts. ** Here is a dispensary," 
said the housekeeper, " which the mistress keeps for the 
poor, and when any of the tenantry are sick, they are 
supplied with medicine gratis- The master keeps a 
hundred men and women in his employ, including 
miners, and pays them punctually the eight-pence a 
day, beside granting them many extras, which greatly 
lighten the burdens of the poor. 

I found but one thing to regret in the good family 
of the Methodist ; two gentlemen called, and the kind 
woman, according to the usage of the country, pre- 
sented her whiskey, not because she wished to do so, 
but because they wanted it. I begged her to renounce 


this wicked custom, and all who heard me acquiesced 
in the correctness of my principle, but thought that 
when taken in moderation the strong drink could do no 
possible hurt. One of the party was a Roman Catho- 
lic. He invited me to his house, and introduced me to 
his wife, who made me feel quite at home, and her four 
talented little sons wanted nothing but a little of Solo- 
mon's rod to make them an ornament to society. Here 
I was entertained with Irish legends and tales, which 
lost none of their interest by the manner in which they 
were related. 

The celebrated estate of Kilcooley has descended by 
hereditary title from the days of Cromwell, till it is now 
lodged in the hands of one who shares largely in the 
affections of all his tenants, especially the poor. The 
wall surrounding his domain is said to be three miles in 
extent, including a park containing upwards of three 
hundred deer, and a wild spot for rabbits. A church, 
and an ancient ivy-covered abbey of the most vener- 
able appearance, adorn a part of it. 

But the pleasure of walking over these delightful 
fields is enhanced by the knowledge that his tenants 
are made so happy by his kindness. To every widow 
he gives a pension of £12 a year ; and to every person 
injuring himself in his employment, the same sum 
yearly, as long as the injury lasts. His mother was all 
kindness, and her dying injunction to him was, " To be 
good to the poor." His house has been burned, leaving 
nothing but the spacious wings uninjured. An elegant 
library was lost. His mother, whom he ardently loved, 
was buried in a vault on the premises ; and his grief at 
her death was such that he left the domain for twelve 
months. He supports a dispensary for the poor, who 
resort to it twice a week, and receive medicine from a 
physician who is paid some sixty pounds a year for his 
attendance. I was introduced to the family of this 
physician, to see his daughter, who had been a resident 
in New York some six years, and hoped soon to return 
thither to her husband and child still living there. As 
I was seated, a little son of two years old, and bom in 

94 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vi. 

America, stood near me. I asked L^s name ; '< Yankee 
Doodle, ma'am," was the prompt reply. This unexpected 
answer brought my country, with every national as 
well as social feeling to mind, and 1 clasped the sweet 
boy in my arms. Let not the reader laugh ; he may 
yet be a stranger in a foreign land. This name the 
child gave himself, and insists upon retaining it. O ! 
those dear little children ! I hear their sweet voices 
still : " God bless ye, lady, welcome to our country," 
can never be forgotten. Nothing was neglected that 
could contribute to my comfort. K I begged them 
to take less trouble on my account, the daughter 
replied that she had lived in America, and had been a 
partaker of the hospitality there exercised towards 
strangers, and knew well the comforts there enjoyed ; 
and that all which could be done for an American stran- 
ger was little enough. At first I supposed this extreme 
kindness must soon wear out. Not so ; for months this 
house was my home, and the last hour I spent in it was 
if possible more friendly than the first. 

While in this family, I attended the Protestant church 
on Mr. Barker s domain, and heard the curate read his 
prayers to a handful of parishioners, mostly youth and 
children. By the assistance of a rich uncle of his wife's, 
he can ride to church in a splendid carriage, which 
makes him tower quite above his little flock. His 
salary is £76 per annum. 

My visit among this hospitable people had been pro- 
tracted partly by inclination, and partly by unavoida- 
ble hindrances, until I had visited every house and 
cabin in the neighbourhood. I sometimes spent a day 
in a farm-house, cooking, in the American style, a 
pudding, cake, or pie, which to these bread-and butter 
eaters was a perfect anomaly. My talents, I began to 
fear, were becoming too popular for my own interest, 
and at length I made myself ready to depart. ** If you 
can stay," said the kind doctor, " dont leave us ; my 
house shall be your home while you stay in Ireland ; 
but if you must go, God speed you." It was then I 
felt the worth of kindness. I was going out, scarcely 


knowing where ; unprotected in a strange land ; and 
where should I meet with such kind voices, and such 
hearty welcomes again ? Hardly could my tongue 
utter one word of gratitude for all the kind offices 
shown me, and I gathered up my effects and myself 
upon the car, accompanied by the doctor's kind wife, 
who was going to convey me ten miles to Thurles, and 
introduce me to her sister residing there. 

The morning was pleasant, and had not my heart 
been a little sad, it would have been congenial to every 
feeling of my mind, so naturally fitted for the enjoy- 
ment of rich scenery in nature. 

Thurles is an ancient town in the county of Tip- 
perary, somewhat neatly built. It contains a good 
market-house, fine chapel, college for Catholics, nun« 
nery, and charity school, with a Protestant church, and 
Methodist chapeL My reception here was cordial, and 
the house quite in American taste. My stay was con- 
tinued a day or two longer than I at first intended ; 
and as Tuesday was market-day, it presented a fa- 
vourable opportunity of seeing the peasantry, who ap- 
peared more cleanly and comfortable than those of 
many towns in Ireland, though much like Kilkenny. 

In company with Mrs. W , and her sister, Mrs. 

Burke, I took a ride of three miles to visit Holy Cross. 
On our way we passed a splendid estate, now owned 
by a gentleman who came into possession suddenly by 
the death of the former owner, for whom he acted as 
agent. Last Christmas they had been walking over 
the premises in company ; on their return, the owner 
met with a fall, and was carried home to die in a few 
hours. It was found he had willed his great estate to 
this agent, who is much elated at his happy exaltation. 
Holy Cross was the most venerable curiosity I had yet 
seen in all Ireland. We ascended the winding steps, 
and looked forth upon the surrounding country, and 
the view told well for the taste of O'Brien, who reared 
this vast pile in 1076. The fort containing the chapel 
is built in the form of a cross ; the perpendicular part 
was that which we aficended. The architecture, the 

96 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vi. 

ornamental work, and the roofs of all the rooms dis- 
played skill and taste. The apartments for the monks, 
the kitchen where their vegetable food was prepared, 
but still more, the place where repose so many of their 
dead were objects of deep interest. " Here," said the 
old woman who interpreted for us, ** is the place of 
saints," pointing to the graves. " Here lie my husband 
and two children, and many a dark and hungry day 
have I seen since I laid 'em there." Some of the in- 
scriptions on the monuments were so defaced, that they 
could not be decyphered, and the gravestones were so 
huddled upon one another, that it was quite a confused 
mass. Pieces of skulls and leg bones lay among the 
dust which had lately been shovelled up ; and as I 
gathered a handful, and gave them to the old woman, 
she said, " This cannot be helped. I pick 'em up and 
hide *em when I see 'em, and that's all can be done ; 
people will bury here, and it's been buried over for 
years, because you see, ma'am, it's the place of saints. 
People are brought many miles to be put here ; the 
priests from all parts have been buried here, and here 
is the place to wake 'em," showing a place where the 
coffin, or rather body, was placed in a fixture of cu- 
riously wrought stone. The altars, though defaced, 
were not demolished ; the basins cut out of the stones 
for the holy water were still entire ; and though many 
a deformity had been made by breaking off pieces, as 
sacred relics, enough remains to show the traveller 
what was the grandeur of the Romish church in Ire- 
land's early history. 

The next evening I accompanied my kind Mrs. 

W out of town, and felt, when she gave me her 

hand, and said, " Please God, I hope to see you again 
before I die," that I was parting with a real friend. 
I then returned to her sister's, who did all she could to 
make me comfortable. She was a Catholic, and her 
husband endeavoured to induce me to become one also, 
fearing I should lose my soul out of the true church ; 
but his zeal was tempered with the greatest kindness. 

When I was about leaving Thurles, Mrs. B 


said, " You should see Mount Mellaiy before leaving 
Ireland." Enquiring what it might be, my curiosity 
was awakened by what I heard, to see it, and I resolved 
to take a car the next morning, and make my way 
thither^ a distance of more than fifty English miles. 
I had hoped to stop at the Rock of Cashel, but was 
obliged for the present to content myself by seeing its 
lofty pinnacle. Perched upon the top of a rock, it has 
stood the ravages of centuries, looking out upon the 
world, and the city beneath its feet, which is now going 
fast to decay. Cashel looked more deserted this day 
than usual, as a rich brewer in the city, a brother of 
Father Mathew had died, and the shops were closed 
in honour of his funeral. 

When travelling by coaches and cars, I had been so 
much annoyed by the disgusting effluvia of tobacco, 
that I dreaded a " next stage," the changing of horses 
being the signal for a fresh lighting up. Seating my- 
self upon the car at Cashel, my hap was to be stowed 
behind a rustic who had reloaded his pipe, and began 
puffing till my unlucky head was enveloped in a dense 
fog, a favourable wind wafting it in that direction. 
Knowing that the consumers of this commodity are not 
fastidiously civil, I forbore to complain, until I became 
sick. At length I ventured to say, " Kind sir, would 
you do me the favour to turn your face a little? 
Your tobacco has made me sick." Instantly he took 
the filthy machine from his mouth, and archly looking 
at me, " May be yer ladyship would take a blast or two 
at the pipe," resumed his puffing without changing his 
position. I was cured of asking favours. 

Passing on from Cashel, a Roman Catholic priest 
seated himself upon the car, whom I found polite and in- 
telligent. His first enquiries were concerning American 
slavery. Its principles and practices he abhorred, and 
he could not comprehend its existence in a republican 
government. I blush for my country when, on every 
car, and at every party and lodging-house, this ever- 
lasting blot on America's boasted history is presented 
to my eyes. Even the illiterate labourer, who is lean- 


98 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vi. 

ing over his spade, and tells me of his eight-pence a 
day, when I in pity exclaim, "How can you live? 
you could be better fed and paid in America," he 
often remarks, "Aw, you have slaves in America, 
and are they better fed and clothed ?" My priest took 
his leave, and his seat was occupied by a deaf old man 
who was a sorry substitute ; but a few hours carried 
us to Clonmel, a town neat in its appearance, contain- 
ing about twenty thousand inhabitants, amongst whom 
are many Quakers. Here some of the " White 
Quakers," a small body of " Come-outers" from the 
Quakers, formerly resided, but they have removed to 
Dublin. These people bitterly denounce others, but 
take liberties themselves under pretence of walking in 
the spirit, which by many would be considered quite 
indecorous. The men wear white hats, coats, and pan- 
taloons of white woollen cloth, and shoes of undressed 
leather ; the women likewise dress in white, to denote 
purity of life. Seeing a labourer digging a ditch 
under a wall, I asked him the price of his day's work. 
" A shilling, ma'am." " This is better than in Tip- 
perary, sir." " But we don't have this but a little part 
of the year ; the Quakers are very hard upon us here, 
ma'am ; giving us work but a little time, and if a poor 
Irishman is found to be a little comfortable, they say, 
* he has been robbing us.' The English, too, are ex- 
pecting a war, and they want us to enlist, but the divil 
of an Irishman will they get to fight their battles. 
O'Connell is not out of prison ;" and stopping sud- 
denly, leaning on his spade, " How kind America has 
been to us ; we ought to be friends to her, and the 
Irish do love her." He grew quite enthusiastic on 
America's kindness and Britain's tyranny, dropped his 
spade, climbed the wall where I was standing, and ex- 
patiated on Ireland's woes and America's kindness till 
I was obliged to say " good bye." 

A new car and driver were now provided. These 
drivers are a terrible annoyance, with their " Rent, 
ma'am." "Rent! for what?" "For the driver, 
ma'am." " I will give you an order on Bianconi, sir." 


I had been told that Bianconi paid his coachmen well, 
and forbade their annoying the passengers, but after- 
wards found that they receive from him but tenpence 
or a shilling a day, out of which they must board 
themselves. I was sorry I spoke so to the driver, and 
hope to learn better manners in future. I had now a 
solitary road to pass, and no fellow passenger but a 
police officer sitting on the opposite side of the car. 
Our route lay through defiles in the intricate windings 
of the Knockmeledown mountains, and had my faith 
been strong in giants, fairies, and hobgoblins, the dark 
recesses and caves in these mountains would have af- 
forded ample food for imagination. 

The sun came out from the dark pavilion in which 
he had been hidden through the day, to take a last 
look upon the eastern crags and lofty mountains he 
was about leaving. The stillness of death reigned, 
except when at long intervals the barking of some 
surly cur told that a miserable hovel was near. Then 
some barefooted mother, with a troop of besmeared 
and tattered children, would present us with undenia- 
ble proofs of Ireland's woes and degradation. Not a 
human voice was heard for many a long mile. Reach- 
ing across the car, I asked the police officer the name 
of the county. "I don't know, ma'am," was the reply, 
though he was then probably within the precincts of 
his own location, as he soon alighted from the car. 
The last light of day left us as we emerged from these 
romantic mountains, and entered the seaport town of 
Dungarvan. We proceeded onwards, and were joined 
by a company of pleasant young women, who, finding 
that I was a stranger, procured for me lodgings when 
we arrived at the town of Cappoquin. There was a 
gentleman from Clonmel, who had a son in New York, 
and who invited me to his house on my return, and 
the evening passed pleasantly with two or three talka- 
tive Irishmen, whose good nature when in exercise is 
always a compensation for every inconvenience. I 
was now in the region of romance, on the banks of the 
Blackwater, and three miles from the famous Mount 

F 2 

100 CO. OF WATERFORD. [chap. vi. 

Mellary. The following morning, in company with two 
countrywomen, an old lady and her daughter, I at- 
tempted to ascend the mountain. A dark deep ravine 
lies at the foot, the silence of which is broken only by 
the murmur of a little rill, which stealthily makes its 
way to the river that runs by the town. We were 
upon the ridge of the glen, picking blackberries, when 
a company of men with carts were passing, one called 
out, " Sure ye'd take a lift up the mountain ; the way is 
long and tedious." A board from the back part of the 
cart was taken out, and the daughter was helped up 
with "Mickey," and the mother and myself with 
" Paddy." The aspiring steeple of the monastery 
now rose in full view ; the cultivated garden, the ex- 
tended lawns, and fields whose ripened corn had just 
been gathered by the hand of the reaper, were spread 
on each hand, and in front of the chapel. We reached 
the porter's lodge, some rods from the monastery, 
where we descended from our cars. We saw a monk 
approaching, in his gown and cowl, and hoped he might 
be coming to meet us ; but he passed in silence, not 
casting a look upon the prohibited article, womariy and 
entered the lodge. Reaching the monastery, we were 
met by men and women, some walking, some riding 
from the gate to depart, and a pleasant-looking monk 
approached, and beckoned us to follow. Giving him 
my card, he drew on his spectacles, and reading '* New 
York," his countenance lighted up, and he broke si- 
lence, "Then you are from New York; and how long? 
And have ye left friends after ye ? And did ye come 
to see Ireland ?" repeating " America,** as he led us 
into the garden, which was beautifully laid out as a 
place for ornament, and the burying ground. Twelve 
of their number are sleeping there, with a wooden cross 
at the head and foot of each. We were next introduced 
into a long hall, where were wooden pegs upon each 
side, bearing the robes used for the week day, and over 
each the name of the owner. A narrow passage led 
us a few steps lower into the chapel. This is impos- 
ing, for, contrary to my expectations, it was more 


grand than gorgeous. The richness and tasteful finish 
of the decorations were beautiful. The lofty ceiling, 
the pillars of imitation marble at each end of the altar, 
and a large stained-glass window behind it, which 
threw over the whole a light peculiarly grateful to the 
eye, had a happy effect. In the rere was the gallery 
for the choir and organ ; the latter was a present from 
a gentleman in Dublin, who is now one of the brother- 
hood. It is an instrument of finished workmanship 
and tone. We were next shown into a long corridor, 
on the end of which is written " Silence.** No monk 
or visitor is here allowed to speak. We passed three 
of these long walks in silence, and then the dining- 
room was opened. Here were tables placed for a 
family of ninety-seven, with a knife, fork, and spoon 
to each person, a piece of coarse bread wrapped in a 
clean cloth, and a tumbler for water by the side. No 
fiesh, fish, eggs, or butter is eaten by the monks ; 
and from September to the twenty-fifth of March, they 
take but one meal a day, except a collation of four 
ounces of bread in the morning; the other two months 
they take two meals a day. We were next shown the 
sleeping-room: this is on true philosophical principles 
— a spacious, clean room, well ventilated, without a 
carpet, with a slight partition between each bed, leav- 
ing room for the free ingress of air, and a green wor- 
sted curtain before each door, elevated some inches 
from the floor. The beds are narrow, and made of 
straw, with a coarse covering. We were next seated 
in the guest*s room, when a monk entered, to whom 
our guide introduced me as an American, and a friend 
to the Irish. He warmly welcomed me to the country, 
and set upon a table bread, butter, and wine. Learn- 
ing that I took no butter, "What shall we get for you, 
then ?** said our guide, "you are worse than ourselves. 
Why should you live so?" Explaining my reasons, 
" Very good," was the answer. I assured them that I 
should make a good dinner on bread and an apple, 
which the kind lady had given me, and they left the 
room. The bread was made of what is called in Eng- 
land second flour^ the bran taken off» and the corn 

102 CO. OF WATERFORD. [chap. vi. 

ground coarsely ; it was brown and very sweet, and 
my companions testified to the good quality of the 
butter ; both were made by the hands of a monk. 

When we had been left a suitable time to finish our 
repast, the guide returned, presenting a book to register 
our names. We presented him with a piece of money, 
which we saw written over the door was requested to 
be given to any in attendance ; he said to each of us, 
" Maybe you cannot consistently spare this ; if so, 
we do not wish it." We assured him we were more 
than compensated. He then said, " walk down," and 
showing us to a little room at the foot of the stairs, 
without asking us to sit, he introduced me as an Ame- 
rican, enquiring, " Did you leave your native land 
alone to seek out the poor in Ireland ?" Then turning 
to a brother, he said in an under-tone, " This is doing 
as Christ did. And," said he, addressing himself to 
me, " what, after all, do you think of Ireland ? It is 
true she is a little island, but she has made a great 
noise in the world." She is, and has always been, poor 
in spirit, and struggling with poverty, and Christ has 
said the kingdom of heaven belongs to such. The 
being " poor in spirit" did not seem quite to the point, 
but leaving no time for argument, without apology, 
one after another presented the hand, saying, " good 
morrow," and retired. The guide took us out at the 
door, thanked us for coming, wished me a safe journey, 
showed us a shorter route over the mountain, and said, 
« Farewell." 

As we looked back, and saw what a barren waste 
had been converted into a fruitful field by the hand of 
untiring industry, I felt an earnest desire to learn the 
history of this Herculean task ; and at evening a mem- 
ber of the family where I lodged, who had been con- 
versant with its history from the beginning, gave me 
the desired information. 

These monks had been united with the brotherhood 
at La Trappe, in France, but had been banished thence. 
Those who were Irishmen returned to Ireland, in 
number about sixty, with but three shillings as all 
their earthly possessions. Some thirty pounds were 


collected, and sent to their relief the evening after their 
landing, and they soon fixed their eyes on this barren 
spot as the place for a future residence. Lord Kane, 
the owner of the mountain, offered six hundred acres, 
for a shilling a year per acre for twenty- one years ; 
then, for half-a-crown an acre for ninety-nine years ; 
and the lease to be renewed at the end of that term. 
This being settled, the bounds were laid out, and the 
neighbouring priests invited their people to take spade 
and mattock, pick and shovel, and assist in making the 
wall. The day was appointed, the people assembled 
in crowds, each with his instrument of husbandry, and 
formed a procession at Cappoquin, with the monks at 
their head, carrying a cross. A band of music escorted 
them up the mountain, and the provisions and imple- 
ments of cookery were carried on carts, the women 
following to cook the provisions. Thus commenced 
the wall, and so continued daily, the band going up at 
night to escort them down, and ascending with them 
in the morning. The mountain was then a rocky, 
sterile, unpromising spot, covered with heath, and, to 
any but the eyes of a monk, wholly impervious to cul- 
tivation. They built a temporary shelter when the 
wall was finished, and remained there, working with 
their own hands, till a fruitful harvest gladdened their 
toil, and the "desert rejoiced and blossomed as the 

In 1833, the corner-stone of the grand chapel was 
laid. Thousands from all parts of Ireland collected. 
The monks, dressed in their robes, performed high 
mass before a temporary altar, erected under a tent, 
and a multitude of seventy thousand united in the cele- 
bration. A sermon was preached by the bishop, and 
the comer-stone was laid. Under this stone were 
placed the different coins, from the sovereign to the 
fai*thing. On it was inscribed : — 

"Aug. 20th, 1838. Pope Pius VII., Sir Richard Kane, 
Baronet, and Lady Kane, patrons. Right Rev. Dr. Abraham, 
Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Waterford, the layer 
of the foundation-stone. Very Rev. Dr. M. V.Ryan, Prior of 
Mount Mellary Abbey." 

104 CO. OF WATERFORD. [chap. vi. 

The latter being the first abbot in Ireland since the 
Reformation. The foundation being laid, the work 
went on, till what now meets the wondering eye was 
completed. Not one of Eve's daughters has contami- 
nated its purity, for the work is wholly performed by 
the monks, and the housekeeping does honour to the 
establishment ; the cleanliness and the arrangements 
coinciding with those of the Shakers of America. 

They retire a quarter before eight, and rise at two, 
when the bell of the chapel is rung, and they perform 
private devotion till six ; then mass is performed in 
the chapel, and each goes to his respective labor. Per- 
fect silence is enjoined for certain hours of the day, 
when they make known their wants by signs. They 
have a mechanic's shop where tailors, cabinet-makers, 
saddlers, shoe-makers, carpenters, weavers, etc., per- 
form their work ; and likewise a printing-press. All 
the labor is performed by the monks. They have 
twenty cows, a good stock of horses, and sheep and 
fowls of all kinds ; and though they eat no flesh them- 
selves, they present it in all its varieties to those who 
visit them. So economical are they of time, that dur- 
ing meals, one stands in an elevated pulpit, reading 
and lecturing, that no time may be lost in idle words at 

The following Sabbath I had appointed to visit and 
read to an old woman upon the mountain, and we heard 
a sermon in the chapel. The sight of nearly a hundred 
monks, dressed in priestly robes, with all the accompa- 
niments of grandeur, cannot fail deeply to impress 
a credulous people. When the deep-toned organ was 
swelling upon my ear, when the incense was ascending, 
and the people bowing to the floor, a kind of awe fell 
upon me, as I thought of the days of the church's former 
greatness, and what she is still destined to be and to 
do. The subject of the sermon was that of the guests 
at the wedding taking the highest seat, and the preacher 
expatiated beautifully and scripturally upon the sin of 
pride, referring to Lucifer, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, 
and Herod. He dwelt on the depravity of man, and 


his liability to fall, saying he had a dead soul in a liv- 
ing body, exhorted them to be faithful in the penance 
of confession, to ask Jesus to forgive them, and the 
Blessed Virgin to pray for them. He was in look, 
manner, and eloquence, one of the most finished speci- 
mens of public speakers I had ever heard. His dress 
was becoming, and his figure beautiful. The simple 
unostentatious pulpit was a narrow corridor, extending 
from side to side of the chapel, parallel with the gallery, 
with a railing upon each side, and not a seat of any 
kind to rest upon. 

My young and intelligent guide, who was a Catholic, 
turned into a part of the monastery to light his pipe, 
and left me to make my way down the mountain alone. 


The spirit of Caste injurious in Ireland — Journey to Youghal 
—The Blessed Well of St. Dagan— Cabin Hospitality— Un- 
conrteous Reception by Sir Richard Musgrave — Rebuff from 
a ** great, good man" — Rejoicings at Lismore for O'Connell's 
Liberation — A Disaster — ^Brutality of an Inn-keeper's Son — 
Dunganran — iTwo silent Quakeresses — Thoughts on Irish 
Hospitality — Unsuccessful Application to Bianconi— Strong 
National Peculiarities of the Irish— Unpopularity of Step- 
mothers — St. Patrick's Well — A Poor Old Woman — A Bap- 
tist Minister — ^Happy Molly. 

Of all the miseries entailed upon poor Ireland, 
that of *' caste" is not the least, and in some circum- 
stances you may as well be a beggar at once, if not a 
drop of high blood can be found in your veins, or if 
some title be not appended to your name. 

Report had said that England was taking the liberty 
to break the seals of letters going from Ireland to 
America, and to retain such as did not suit her views 
of matters relative to the country. I had been in Ire- 
land more than three months, had paid postage on a 
package of letters, but had received no answer, and was 
in much perplexity on account of it. When about leav- 
ing Cappoquin, I was advised by the good man of th§ 

F 3 

106 CO. OF WATERFORD. [chap. vi. 

house where I lodged, to call on Sir Richard Musgrave, 
who lived on his estate a mile and a half distant, and 
would give me information respecting the transmission 
of letters ; adding, " He is condescending in manner, 
peculiarly kind of heart, a true friend of Ireland and 
O'Connell, and delights in doing good to Catholics, 
though himself a Protestant." All these qualifications 
were certainly something, and I reluctantly consented 
to call at his house. I found that he was not at his 
country residence, but was spending a few weeks on 
the sea-shore, at Whiting-Bay, eighteen miles distant. 
A steamer was about to start for Youghal, down the 
Blackwater, and would take me fifteen miles on my 
way. The morning was a little dull, but the sun at 
ten o'clock broke through the clouds, and lighted up 
such a landscape as is impossible for me to describe, 
for Blackwater scenery is Blackwater scenery, and 
nothing else. It was not a cloudless state of mind that 
caused this bright vision of things, for I was going 
against my own inclination ; but the reality so broke 
upon me at every new winding, that, in spite of myself, 
I must admire if not enjoy. A preceding rain had 
given a lively tint to tree and meadow, Jtnd nature ap- 
peared as in the freshness of a May morning, though 
September was well advanced, and the yellow hue, con- 
trasted with the more sombre foliage of tree and haw- 
thorn with which meadow and water were fringed, 
heightened the beauty of the scene. The cows and 
sheep were grazing upon hill and dale, and the song of 
the happy bird lent its notes of harmony. If for a mo- 
ment the prospect was confined by a short turn in the 
river, the next a broad vista opened which displayed 
extended towns, rising cultivated hills, a stately man- 
sion perched upon some shelving rock, and now and 
then a mutilated castle or abbey. Five ruined castles 
meet the eye in sailing fifteen miles upon this river, 
and though they speak loudly of the uncertainty of all 
human greatness and human hopes, yet they are a kind 
of pleasing proud memento to the heart of every Irish- 
man, that his now oppressed country had once her men 


of cultivated tastes as well as of warlike feats. When 
passing through the vale of Ovoca, I thought that na- 
ture could do no more than she had there done ; hut on 
the hanks of the Blackwater she showed me that a 
bolder stroke of her pencil had been reserved for this 
outline. Let the traveller gaze upon the picture, and 
tell us, if he can, what is wanting. 

At last the town of Youghal, with her noble bridge, 
met the eye. The drawbridge was raised for the 
steamer to pass, and we saw the houses extended along 
the sea-shore, on the vicinity of a hill, commanding a 
noble prospect of the sea. The busy population in pur- 
suit of gain by their bartering and bantering, told us 
that self here was an important item, though not a 
beggar put out her hand, invoking " the blessing of the 
Virgin" for your penny. A ferry-boat put me safely 
on the other side, leaving me a three miles walk, partly 
upon the beach, but mostly inland, and thus giving an 
opportunity of seeing a peasantry who speak English 
only when compelled by necessity. Making inquiry 
from cabin to cabin, not one bawled out, " Go along to 
such a place, and inquire ;" but each one left her work, 
sometimes accompanied by two dogs and thrice the 
number of pigs, and led me a distance on the way, with 
a kind " God bless ye," at parting. A troop of boys 
now came galloping at full speed, intent, one might 
suppose, on sport or mischief. But each had a book 
under his arm or in his hand, and I saw they were re- 
turning from school, and saluting them kindly, they 
gathered around me, listened to the story of schools in 
America, and earnestly asked such questions as to them 
seemed important. At our parting, each was emulous 
to direct me my way, lest at the " cross-road" I should 
mistake. " Now, ma'am, don't you take the left ;" " nor 
don't ye go straight on " said a second, " but turn to the 
right," &c. And when, like so many young deer, they 
bounded away, I blessed God that the dawn of edu- 
cation was breaking upon Ireland, and that the genera- 
tion now rising shall feel its genial ray, and by her 

108 CO. OF WATERFORD. [chap. vn. 

power have the independence to assert their country's 
heaven -born rights. 

But the great man was not yet reached, and I was 
weary with walking. A little girl, with a heavy bur- 
den on her back, said, << And is it Sir Musgrave, ma'am, 
ye would see ? you should go up that road, ma'am, and 
the way is much shorter." That road had long since 
been passed, but the girl added, " Ye are on the road 
to the Blessed Well." « Blessed WeU ! what is that ?" 
" I donH know, ma'{6n, only people goes there to pray." 
This reconciled me a Httle to the mistake of the path ; 
and walking on, a clump of trees was pointed out as the 
sacred place. There was something supers titiously 
pleasant in the appearance and associations about this 
well. It was eighteen hundred years ago since Jesus, 
" weary with his journey, sat down on the well," and 
the woman of Samaria came out to draw water. Here 
was a spot where thousands had knelt, and drank, and 
gone away as dark as they came ; ignorantly supposing 
that some saint had sanctified its waters. As I was 
musing, a young damsel like Eebecca of old, with 
a large brown pitcher, " came hither to draw." She 
was " fair to look upon." I saluted her, she answered 
pleasantly in Irish, and after filling her pitcher walked 
away. Never did that living water of which Jesus told 
the woman of Samaria look more precious than now ; 
never had I more ardently desired to tell a benighted 
traveller "the way, the truth, and the life ;" but I could 
not speak her language, neither could I, like Jesus, have 
told her " all that ever she did." How many of these 
sincere devotees who come here to drink, have ever 
tasted of the well of salvation, God alone must decide. 
A large stone, with a wooden cross fixed in it, stands 
at the head of this well, and a beautiful tree waves 
over the whole. St. Dagan, we are told, blessed this 
water some hundred years ago ; and so efficacious has 
it been, that cripples, who came on crutches, have gone 
away leaping and praising St. Dagan, and the blind 
have been made to see. So infatuated have been its de- 


Yotees, that the Bishop has thought it expedient to 
prohibit its resort, as being a place where miracles are 
no more to be expected. So unmindful was I of its 
healing virtues, that I actually turned away without 
tasting its waters. Fearing I had gone astray, I made 
my way to a cabin door through mud and filth ; here a 
woman pointed me to the house of the great man, and 
added, " May-be ye are wairy, and would like to sit 
down a bit." I gladly accepted the invitation, and 
followed my guide into the small cabin. Here were 
two men sitting upon a table in a comer, an old man 
smoking, and a wretched-looking woman, who like me 
was weary with her journey, and had " turned in 
hither," and was sitting upon the ground. In the cen- 
tre of the room stood the dinner table, with the re- 
mains of the potatoes on which the family had been 
dining. A tub of potato-skins and water stood near 
the table, from which two huge matronly swine, and 
eleven young sucklings, were eating their dinner, and 
I, in return for the civility shown me, could do no less 
than extol the beauty of the little honnels, and the 
fine bulk of the mother. The mistress took a wooden 
bowl, mashed a few fine potatoes into it with her hands, 
and, adding milk, called a couple of more favoured 
ones, and fed them from it. Upon a cupboard stood a 
plate of tempting well -cooked potatoes, and I asked 
leave to take one. This was the signal for a fresh ef- 
fusion of kindness, and the good woman left her pets 
to their own guidance, and selected with her hands one 
of the finest, divested it of its coat with her nails, and 
handed it to me. I was caught in my own trap, and 
was obliged to surrender ; and before the first was mas- 
ticated, a second was in readiness, and so on, till I was 
positively obliged to refuse the fourth, much to the 
grief of the good woman, who was " in dread" lest I 
should go away hungry. 

" Sir Richard," said the old man, putting his pipe in 
his pocket, " will sartainly consider your case. He is 
a good man, and his wife is a kind woman." And now, 
with three fine potatoes in my stomach, and thrice the 

no CO. OF WATERFORD. [chap. vii. 

number of blessings on my head, I departed to the 
" great man's" abode. The sea was dashing against 
the gravelly beach at the front of the dwelling ; an air 
of comfort was shed around ; and when the porter re- 
sponded to my knock, and had gone to present my card, 
I looked about the hall, and seeing no false appendages 
of greatness, and being soon invited into the parlour by 
the gentleman himself, I felt as much at ease as when 
eating my potatoes in the cabin. I introduced myself, 
and the object of my errand, while he peered at me 
over his spectacles, and seemed to listen with attention. 
He read my letter of introduction, and returned it 
without note or comment. I stated the exigencies of 
my case, as a stranger in a strange land, and asked if 
he could give any information as to whether the Eng- 
lish government had really taken the liberty to open 
and retain letters. He looked silently upon me, with a 
gaze which seemed to say, " I wish this insignificant 
woman could finish her story, and let me return to my 
lunch." " I may be keeping you from dinner, sir." " I 
was taking lunch, madam ; my dinner hour is five." 
" Do you know, sir, and will you tell me, whether you 
think this report true or false ?" No answer : he took 
out his watch ; I understood the signal, and rose to 
depart. " I can give you no advice on this subject." 
As I was going into the hall he said, " May be you 
would take something to eat." " I am not hungry, sir," 
replied I. My heart rejected this coldly proffered 
bread. Then did the cabin woman's potato look doubly 
valuable, and I blessed God that he had left some poor 
in tlie world, that every vestige of humanity and kind 
feeling might not be swept from the earth. The heart 
of a stranger was emphatically mine. I had travelled 
a distance of twenty miles for the privilege of being 
treated with the coldest indifference by a titled gentle- 
man. Yet I was not sorry. I at least learned some- 
thing. This man was celebrated for his urbanity of 
manners and kindness of heart ; the well intentioned 
friends who advised me to apply to him were certain 
that he would solve my difficulties 5 and I had gone 


more in complaisance to their good feelings, than from 
a favourable opinion of the undertaking on my part. 
I had visited Ireland to see the poor, to learn its man- 
ners and customs, and how they would treat American 
strangers in any and every condition. I was placed in 
peculiar circumstances, and a few kind words, if they 
would not have helped me out of my dilemma, would 
have cost him but little, and have been grateful to me. 
But not even a generous look could be gained, and I 
hoped my friends would see that this boasting of the 
benevolence of great men is often but boasting, and 
whoever follows them to get good, will generally find 
himself in pursuit of an ignis fatuus, which per- 
chance may land him in a quagmire. 

The sail back upon the enchanting Blackwater was 
if possible more pleasant than in the morning. The 
setting sun cast a mellow light on tower, castle, ivied 
abbey, and tree ; and the vesper song of the bird, 
seeking its shelter for the night, had a soothing effect 
upon my mind after my zig-zag pursuit of Irish aria* 

To atone for yesterday's adventure, the good people 
of the lodging-house advised a ramble to Lismore, as 
castles, bridges, and churches, besides " Lord Devon- 
shire" himself, were all there. A plain-looking man 
offered his services as my guide, for Lismore was on 
his route home, and he knew every nook and corner 
" right well," and would show me all with the greatest 
pleasure. But we must take a circuitous road^ and 
call on another "great and good man," who could 
not give an unkind look, for he was " made up of good- 
ness." In vain I pleaded my excuses ; my guide was 
a familiar acquaintance of the gentleman's, and could 
remove all impediments to an introduction, and I was 
obliged to yield. We went over gravelled walks, 
through rich lawns, and sheltered pathways, till behind 
a high wall we saw the numerous chimneys of this 
" great and good man." He was a Scotchman and a 
presbyterian. A labourer on the top of the wall called 
out, " The master is at dinner, and cannot be seen." 

112 CO. OF WATERFORD. [chap. vn. 

A nurse with a sweet infant in her arms was sitting 
upon a stile, and half an hour was beguiled in listen- 
ing to the good qualities of both master and mistress, 
till the kind girl, eager to acquaint the hospitable 
woman that an American lady was without, hastened 
in, and I saw her no more. " The master is coming," 
said my guide, and I will go and tell him who you are." 
He did so, and I was a mile on my way to Lismore, 
when he overtook me, muttering that the man had re- 
turned from giving orders to his men, and they went 
to the stile, and no American was there. I had stop- 
ped a full half hour for the hospitable mistress, who 
knew I was in waiting, and then went away. Not a 
cabin in all Ii*eland would have treated a stranger 

But leaving the " good and great man," let us walk 
to the pleasant town of Lismore. 

When my guide had conducted me to the town, and 
showed me into the celebrated church, which in the 
days of the never-forgotten Cromwell was defaced, 
and taken possession of by the Protestants, he abruptly 
took leave, saying, " I have showed ye all I can " I 
stood alone in the midst of that venerable pile, looking 
at its pictures and stained glass windows, through 
which the setting sun shed a mellow light, throwing 
upon its walls a softened sadness, which, as the flicker- 
ing rays died away, seemed to say, "The glory of Erin 
is departed." 

The town was in high glee, for O'Connell was libe- 
rated. One of the newspaper editors who had been 
imprisoned with him was there, and bonfires blazed in 
various places, their smoke giving to the tasteful 
little town the appearance of a reeking furnace. I 
hastened to the bridge, to look at the castle of the 
Duke of Devonshire. It is situated upon an elevated 
site, overlooking the romantic Blackwater. 

Three miles and a half were before me, and night 
was gathering around. So absorbed was I in looking 
at the never-tiring beauties of the scenery, and so 
thick were the hedge-rows with tempting blackberries, 


that by the time the curtain of night had descended I 
found I had lost my spectacles! This was the ultimatum 
of all the vexations of yesterday's chase after a " sir,** 
and to-day's hunt after a "great and good man." 
These spectacles were of superior excellence, were very 
expensive, and had been selected in New York as 
peculiarly suited for travelling. They brought every 
distant mountain and castle in bold relief before my 
eye, when riding in a car or coach. Now I found it 
was truly the "little foxes that spoil the vines." I 
had become so enchanted with the almost supernatural 
beauties of Ireland, that no troubles could sit long on 
my heart while looking upon them ; but now this con- 
solation was gone. I sat down upon a stone to think 
what I should do next. I was in a thick wood, three 
miles from Cappoquin. The evening was still ; the 
noise of joy and gladness fell upon my ear from the 
town, and I bent my steps towards it. The light from 
bonfires and barrels of blazing tar, drawn by noisy 
boys, was glimmering through the trees. Ireland was 
rejoicing that O'Connell was free. " It's many a long 
day that we have been lookin' for that same to do 
somethin' for us, but not a hap'orth of good has come to 
a cratur of us yet. We're aitin the pratee to-day, and 
not a divil of us has got off the rag since he begun his 
discoorse," said a peasant woman near me, not scru- 
pulously tidy in her apron or cap. Making my 
way through the crowd, I reached the whiskey lodging- 
house. A hearty greeting from the good-humoured 
daughter, who was attending at the bar, was sullenly 
responded to by, " I've lost my spectacles." " And 
you've seen the good man, and the beautiful church of 
Lismore." " I've seen no good man." " Oh, the 
cratur s weary ! But the priest '11 find the spectacles, 
for he'll cry *em from the altar next Sunday." I retired 
amid the din of rejoicing, and have heard nothing of 
priest or spectacles since. 

Wednesday i September \7th. — I left my lodgings be- 
fore five in the morning for Kilkenny. It was very 
cold for the season. I knocked at the door of the hotel> 

114 CO. OF WATERFORD. [chap. vii. 

where I was told the preceding day that I must be at 
that hour, and was answered by a man who had rushed 
from his bed to the door half clad, with hair erect, 
demanding in surly tone who was there, and what was 
wanted. « The car, sir." " The car don't come till 
half after five/' " I'll step in if you please, sir, and 
wait." "You won't. Do you think I'll sit up for you 
to come in ?" « What shall I do, sir ?" « Go back 
where you came from." " The door is locked, and the 
servants in bed, and I could not get in." " Then stay 
out of doors," he shouted, and shut the door rudely 
upon me. 

I did stay out of doors, and it was indeed a cold 
berth. I was obliged to keep walking, for no smoke 
yet ascended from cottage or cabin. Upon a distant 
green hillock a little smoke was slowly winding up : 
going to it, I found it was a stump smouldering out its 
last dying embers for the honour of O'Connell. Seat- 
ing myself beside it upon my carpet bag, and stirring it 
with my parasol, I begged it to give one cheer more 
for the long life of him for whom it had been blazing, 
and the warmth of one who was well nigh freezing. 
A ragged labourer approached to light his pipe. "And 
sure what brings ye here so airly, lady ?" 

** The civility of your innkeeper, sir." 

" The innkeeper, ma'am, is a woman of dacent man- 
ners, and wouldn't trait ye so ; it was the vagabond of 
a son she keeps about her." 

"And what has this decent woman been doing these 
twenty years, that she has not taught this vagabond 
son some of her good manners ?" 

"Faith, that I can't tell, and by your tongue ye must 
be a stranger in the country." 

I had only time to say I was from America, when 
the horn of the carman summoned me from the com- 
pany that had gathered around, one of whom called 
after me, " And do ye think we will have the repale ?" 

" I could wish that the next stump by which you 
light your pipe might be kindled to celebrate the jubilee 
of your freedom." 


It was affecting to see how the hearts of these poor 
ill-paid labourers were every where intent on that one 
object, repeal. They feel daily more and more the 
iron hand that crushes them ; and were it not that 
Father Mathew has sobered them, and O'Connell is 
enjoining "peace, peace," their forbearance would 

The sun was now rising in a clear sky. Never had 
I been so willing to leave a spot in all Ireland, but I 
grudged them my spectacles. I had scarcely found a 
comfort in Cappoquin. The father, son, and daughter 
where I lodged were employed in repairing the house, 
and selling ardent spirits ; and though occasionally a 
kind wish was bestowed, I was left to carry out this 
kind wish as well as I could. But this unlucky visit 
was not a fair specimen of my tour through Ireland ; 
and, even here, another time might have been quite 
the reverse. 

I might call on Sir Richard with a fresher trimming 
on my bonnet, and receive a kind answer to my enqui- 
ries. The door of the estated gentleman might be 
opened if the hour were more favourable. I might 
stop at the same house when it was undergoing no 
repair, when the carpets were laid down, (for they told 
me they had carpets) and I might call at the door of 
the innkeeper when the young boor had risen from his 
lair, when his hair was combed and his face shaven, 
and he might give me a complaisant " walk in,** and a 
seat by the fire till the car should arrive. These evils 
I determined should not annoy me; but oh, my 
spectacles ! I could not enjoy the scenery without 
them, and was compelled to see the country through the 
descriptions of the carman, who was my only fellow- 
traveller, and somewhat intelligent. 

At seven we reached the flourishing sea-port of 
Dungarvan ; flourishing it might be, at least, if such a 
harbour were any where but in poor Ireland. The 
houses were built with considerable regard to taste, 
and the population had the appearance of more com- 
fort than in many towns of Ireland; but the same 

116 CO. OF TIPPER ART. [chap. vii. 

complaint of poor price for labour, and the same en- 
quiry, "Do ye think we shall get the repale?" saluted 
me from all to whom I spoke. 

Here two Quakeresses joined the car, and rode to 
Clonmel, and certainly they were proofs that woman 
is sometimes silent, for from nine till three they sat, 
and scarcely uttered a word. I made a few ineffectual 
efforts to talk a little about the country, but gave it up 
as hopeless. The Quakers are a worthy people, but 
when I hear of the poor labourers reaping down their 
fields for a shilling a day, I cannot but say, " One thing 
thou lackest." 

The gentleman who had invited me to visit him at 
Cappoquin was at the car when we arrived there, and 
showed me into the house, where much apparent kind- 
ness was manifested. And here let me remark that 
the Irish peasantry cannot be surpassed in hospitality ; 
but in proportion as independence and rank are attained, 
this hospitality does not always meet the stranger with 
the same warmth and sincerity. It seems to say, " We 
know that the Irish people are proverbial for their hos- 
pitality, and I must keep up the credit of my country ; 
but had you not come to my house, I should not have 
troubled myself about you." I always managed well 
for myself in doubtful cases, by saying that I had met 
with such unbounded kindness among the poor in Ire- 
land, that I could not doubt the national reputation for 
hospitality was well merited ; and when I was invited 
to partake of it, I would not insult the Irish character 
by any suspicion of sincerity on their part. I was ad- 
vised to avail myself of Bianconi's offer to all foreign- 
ers, to travel upon his cars free. This Italian, who 
some twenty years before came into Ireland and went 
about with a box selling trinkets, had by dint of in- 
dustry and good management become rich. When he 
commenced his cars, he travelled for weeks without a 
passenger; but perseverance conquered, and he now 
owns thirteen hundred horses, and cars in proportion, 
and is at the head of Ireland in this department. He 
was at this time mayor of the town of Clonmel. I felt 


a delicacy in making my appeal, but yielded to the ur- 
gent entreaty of the friend who gave so many assuran- 
ces of success from this best of men. My sensitiveness 
on the subject of great and good men had become so 
acute, that if left to myself I should have preferred 
staying upon the lower step. The request was made 
through the clerk of the mayor, my letter of introduc- 
tion to a friend of Bianconi's being unsealed ; the result 
was a failure, Bianconi refused ; and the clerk told me 
frankly, that if I had come to see the poor of Ireland, 
I had come on a very foolish errand. He had left me 
waiting till the car had left, and I had not money to 
take me to Urlingford unless I went that night. 

Unhesitatingly I turned to the gentleman who urged 
me to this step, and threw myself upon his protection 
until the next car should start. My stay was continued 
three days, till I had seen outwardly the most interest- 
ing part of Clonmel. Passing one evening through 
the churchyard, I saw the door of the church open, and 
was attracted by the voice of a child above ; following 
the sound, it led me to a large upper chamber, where 
sat a man reading to a tidy looking woman, amusing 
herself with a child. This man was sexton of the 
church, and though a Protestant, did not seem so well 
suited with all the arrangements of that body as most 
of them were. The weekly meetings were kept up, he 
said, but often only three attended. 

"And how do your Catholic brethren and you 
agree ?" " Very well/' said the woman ; " we find them 
quite obligin', and I must acknowledge they are a more 
humble people than the Protestants." 

This acknowledgment, though a merited one so far 
as I had seen, I did not expect from that source. I had 
seen rich Catholics and rich Protestants, and seen them 
both similarly circumstanced, but acting quite differ- 
ently when any manifestations of either pride or be- 
nevolence were concerned. 

The characteristics of an Irishman are so marked, 
that whether you find him living on a bog or in a 
domain, in a cabin or in a castle, you know he is an 

118 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vii. 

Irishman still. His likes and dislikes, his love and 
hatred, seem regulated by a national standard. One of 
their deeply infixed characteristics is, hatred to step- 
mothers. The poor victim might as well enter her 
name on the black roll, and make a league to be- 
come a witch at once, as to undertake this crusade ; 
for indulgent or severe, idle or industrious, amiable 
or unamiable, she is a stepmother still. 

In this family, one of these victims presided, or ra- 
ther tarried ; and the very atmosphere of the house 
seemed to whisper stepmother, wherever a child ap- 
peared. A daughter of seventeen offered to accompany 
me in the evening to the well of St. Patrick, two miles 
from town, but this hopeful girl was not out of her bed 
till eleven in the morning, and when the time arrived 
she could not accompany me, << she had no leisure but 
on the Sabbath." The stepmother looked signifi- 
cantly, and I inquired if her daughter had any busi- 
ness which was pressing ? " She lies in bed, as you 
see, taking her breakfast after the family alone, and 
sits till dinner time ; she has nothing to do, but I 
mustn't 1 m a step-mother," giving another signifi- 
cant look. 

I went alone to the St. Patrick's well, and was 
directed as many different ways as I found Paddys to 
point me. At length two fine boys left their sport, and 
conducted me back over a wall, and showed me the 
winding path through shady trees, down a declivity to 
the dark solitude where the sacred well was sparkling. 
Soft and pure was this water, like most which 1 found 
throughout Ireland. 

Two aqueducts conduct it underground a little dis- 
tance ; it then forms a rill. A stone cross stands near 
for the benefit of pilgrims, and a decayed church, 
whose mutilated altar, with its rude inscription, carries 
you back for centuries, to the time when the Irish 
Roman Catholic Church was in her glory. 

Every thing about this frequented spot is calculated 
to fill the mind with a chastened if not religious awe. 
The dark wood behind the old stone church, the rip- 


pling of the little brook, the ancient stone cross, the 
seclusion of the spot chosen for a place of worship, the 
lateness of the hour, my distance from the land of mj 
fathers, and the thought that this is the green spot in 
the ocean, where have figured and still live a people 
unlike all others, filled my mind with painful, pleasant, 
and romantic ideas. But I must now leave this sacred 
dell, for though neither snake or lizard could coil about 
my feet, yet it was sunset ; and ascending the serpen- 
tine path, I reluctantly left the enchanting spot. 

The first object I beheld at the foot of a hill when I 
had gained the road, was an old woman with a sack of 
potatoes on her back, suspended by a rope across her 
forehead. The whiteness of her hair, the deep wrinkles 
of her face, the sadness of her countenance, and the 
feebleness with which she tottered when the burden in- 
clined to slide from her back, so affected me, that never 
had the miseries of Ireland stood before me in so broad 
an outline as now. 

" You are old, madam, to be carrying such a heavy 
burden up a hill like this." 

" Ould and wairy, ma'am, be sure ; and it's many a 
long day the good God has been puttin' this on me. I 
must keep a little cabin over my head to shelter a sick 
gal, who has this six years been on my hands, and 
God Almighty don't bring her yet." 

<* And have you any more children ?" 

" I have three abroad, I don't know where. They 
forget their ould mother, and never write to me. I 
raired six of them after the father died. Two are 
married in Ireland, but they keep away ; I s'pose they 
are afeard the sick one would want something if they 
should come. I kept 'em all to school, till, like the 
birds, as soon as they could fly, they left the nest." 

" And do you have any bread ?" 

" Not a hap'orth, ma'am, but potatoes ; sometimes 
the girl, when she bleeds at the lungs, says she can't 
swallow 'em ; and when I get a hap'orth, it s a sup of 
milk, a candle, and a bit of turf, and not a farthin' can 
I spare for her. Sometimes she says, <If I could smell 

120 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vii. 

a little tay, how it would revive me,' but I can't, no, I 
can't git her a drop. I never have begged, ma'am, in 
all the long days of distress I have ever had." « Well, 
madam, your days on earth are well nigh finished, and 
you are nearly home." " Yes, I am near my home, 
but it's the heart, ma*am, it's the heart, after all ; the 
prayers don't do without the heart. But the mighty 
God have mercy on a poor cratur like me, it's all I can 
say." She stopped to adjust her pack, and I saw her 
no more. The reality of this picture of patient suffer- 
ing needed no aid of the imagination to make it as 
perfect a one as I had seen. But in every place I go, 
woman is made a beast of burden ; and where this is 
allowed, and men are not paid for their toil, no legisla- 
tion can elevate a people. 

I turned aside into a little chapel, and heard a Bap- 
tist minister preach a sermon to five auditors, on the 
righteous dealings of God. I breakfasted with him in 
the morning ; a loaf of brown bread, butter, tea, and 
an egg, formed his repast. This simple breakfast, 
which may everywhere be found on the tables of the 
gentry, is quite a rebuke on American extravagance. 
And hard as is the fate of the labouring man, I think 
he is greatly indebted to the potato for his flow of 
spirits and health of body. 

This clergyman had a church of only twelve, but in 
a town of Quakers, Roman Catholics, and Protestants 
of the Established Church, who had occupied the field 
long before him. Nothing, he said, but love for his 
people kept him from going to America; adding, "My 
country cannot long endure the miseries she now suf- 
fers ; some change must soon take place." 

The next day I was to leave for Urlingford, and the 
lady of the house where I stopped said, « You must 
see an old woman we have in our cellar ; she's the won- 
der of us all. She sleeps on a handful of straw upon 
some narrow boards, a few inches from the floor, with- 
out pillow, or any covering, but a thin piece of a 
blanket, and the clothes she wears through the day. 
She goes to mass at five in the morning, with a sauce- 


pan, and fills it with holy water, which she offers to 
every friend she meets, telling them it will ensure good 
luck through the day, and then sprinkles it about her 
room." At this moment, Molly, unobserved, stole softly 
upon us. When I met her laughing eye, and still 
more laughing face, I could not refrain from laughing 
too. Her cheeks were red, as though the bloom of 
sixteen rested upon them; her hair was white, yet her 
countenance was full of vivacity. She looked the 
<^ American lady" full in the face, and pressing my hand, 
said, "Welcome, welcome; good luck, good luck to 
ye, mavourneen. Come into my place, and see how 
comfortable I am fixed." We followed to Happy Molly's 
cellar ; five or six stone steps led us into a dark enclo- 
sure, with a stone floor, which contained all that Happy 
Molly said she needed. 

"Where do you sleep, Molly ?" Taking me by the 
arm, she pointed to the corner^ behind the fire-place, 
" Here ! here ! and look, here is my blanket" (which 
was but a thin piece of flannel) " and here, you see, is 
an old petticoat^ which the woman where I stopped 
pulled "out of my box, and tore it in pieces, ma*am, 
because I couldn't pay two pennies for my rent ; and 
then, ye see, ma'am, 1 came here, and praise God they 
be so kind ; oh, I couldn't tell ye how kind." 

" Where's your pillow, Molly ?" ♦• Oh ! I want no 
pillow, ma'am, and I sleep so warm." 

" And where are your children, Molly ?" " Some of 
them gone to God, and some of them gone abroad, I 
don't know where ; I never sees them. They forgets 
their ould mother. I nursed six, and one for a lady in 
Dublin. I never gave them any milk from the cow." 

" Had you a cow, Molly ?" ** A cow, and four too, 
and a good husband." 

" And you are happy now, Molly ?" " And why 
shouldn't I be? I have good friends, and enough to eaty 
a comfortable room, and good bed." 
. "Where do you get your food?" "Oh, up and down, 

She did not beg, but all who knew her, when 


122 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vni. 

they saw her, would ask, "Well, Molly, have you 
had any thing to-day ?" If not, a bit was given her. 
She is very cleanly, and always healthy. When I was 
leaving, I stepped down to say good-bye. She was 
sewing on a bench at the foot of the stone steps, and 
when she found I was going, she seized my hand, and 
kissed it, saying, " Good luck, good luck, American 
lady, the good God will let us meet in heaven." 

God surely " tempers the winds to the shorn lamb" 
in Ireland. Such unheard-of sufferings as poor Erin 
has endured have drawn out all kinds of character, 
except the very worst. 


Nunnery at Thurles — Monks* School — ^Dialogues on the Road 
— Grateful Reflections — Nocturnal Alarm — Affecting Inci- 
dent — A Gay Consumptive — Parting from True Friends — A 
Jolly Company — ^Lamentation on Lying— Walk to Roscrea 
— A Weariful Woman — A Centenarian— Charity Sermon — 
— A Christian Sister — A Poor House — Visit to a Great 
Brewer — A Funeral— Father Mathew — Remarkable Vivacity 
of the Irish — Self Denial — Short Commons — A Snug Pro- 
testant Farmer's Household — Cool Reception. 

At eight o'clock in the evening, I was again by the 
table of Mr. B. in Thurles ; and next morning entered 
a nunnery, and was shown all the apartments, the 
chapel, and the beautiful garden, which, as one said, 
"is all the world to us; here we live, and here 
we are as happy as we can be in this life." " I hope 
you will yet be a Catholic," said one kindly to me, as 
we passed out ; " it is the only true church." 

They appeared to be well informed on American 
affairs, and very intelligent. They have a school of 
girls, many of them Protestants. 

•* What," I asked, "do you do about their religion?" 
" Oh, we don't interfere with that." 

The monks have a school of boys, who are taught all 
branches requisite to the duties of life, and at a suita- 
ble age are apprenticed to places where they still keep 

CHAP, vin.] CO. OF TIPPERARY. 123 

an eye over them. If any are ungovernable, after the 
third complaint by the master, the monks take him 
away, and throw him upon his own resources. If the 
master is too severe, he is removed to a better one. 

The car left me at Thurles, and leaving my carpet- 
bag, I set out to walk to Urlingford, a distance of ten 
English miles, and it was now two o'clock. It was a 
profitable walk, and not a lonely one, for these simple 
hearted people were meeting me at every x5orner, com- 
ing out from their cabins, and walking " a bit" with 
me ; enquiring about America, and telling me of their 
country. One said, <* We have a neighbour here from 
America." He was called from a field, and introduced ; 
•* I have a great partiality for the people in your coun- 
try," said he, " but I hate their cursed slavery, and 
left on that account. I lived with a planter who had 
four hundred slaves, to whom he gave a peck of com 
each a week, and worked and whipped them hard. I 
could not bear it, and left him, and came away." To 
the honour of the Pope, be it said that he has prohi- 
bited slavery in the church. Passing on to a company 
of men cracking stones, I asked, << How much do you 
earn in the day ?'* "Ten pence, and how do you think 
we can keep the breath a goin' with this, ma'am, 
and put a rag upon the back ? Would you give us a 
diillin' in your country? If you would ensure me two 
pence more than I have here, I would start to-morrow. 
And do ye think we shall get the repale ? They won't 
let us fight, and, by dad, I would fight this minut if 
they would let me. We are oppressed to death by the 
English, and we can't live much longer. What do 
they think in America ?" 

So anxious are these suffering creatures for the 
repeal, that they cannot let a stranger who speaks to 
them pass without asking the question. Such a speci- 
men of self-controul as they manifest, though many of 
them are keenly alive to their privations, is truly 
unparalleled in any nation. cyConnell now restrains 
them by a nod. Will he always be able to do so ? 

As I left these warm-hearted patriots, an old man 

G 2 

124 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. thi. 

told me I had three miles to walk, << and the night will 
fall on ye, but nobody '11 hurt ye here, ma'am." I had 
gone a little distance, when he called out, " Do ye 
belong to the army ?' A little mortified, I begged he 
would not think I belonged to that crafu " I hope, 
sir, you have not a bad opinion of me ?" " Oh, Cfod 
forgive me. Pardon me, lady : I had not such a 
thought of you, ma'am." I found that the wives of the 
officers accompanied them, and he thought I might be 
of the number. I had walked six and a-half miles ; 
night had <* come on me," but the moon was now and 
then struggling through the misty clouds, when a man 
passed me upon a jaunting car, and asked how far I 
had to walkk << You had better get up and ride, the 
way is lonely." Gladly I did so, and found him a 
plain, common-sense farmer, who, going through all 
interrogations of America, and talking over the woes 
of Ireland, ended by asking, ** Do yoa think we shall 
have the repale ? 

I heard a kind welcome most gladly at the house of 
Mr. C. in Urlingford, and gave him a particular reci- 
tal of Mount Mellary. Being a Catholic to the bone^ 
he cannot but love such an establishment as this. He 
has ever treated me with kindness, and placed me 
under obligations for many little favours, which as a 
stranger were very grateful to my feelings. The re- 
membrance of these kindnesses are sweet and salutary 
on a foreign shore, which none but a stranger can fully 
appreciate. I went next to Dr. White's^ Of this family 
I can never say enough. Never, never can I forget 
their unparalleled, unceasing good nature, always in ex- 
ercise ; never with any display, but always as though 
they were obliged to me for accepting it. My food, 
my lodging, my fire, my walking or riding, must be all 
for my highest comfort. The kindness of this family 
was confined to no sect or nation, the rich or the poor. 
The beggar, too, had a kind welcome. 

A few mornings after my return, at the dawning of 
day, I heard a loud knocking at the door, and supposed 
some messenger in haste had called for the doctor. 


This was followed by the most unearthly scream, which 
was long and repeated. I first tried to collect myself, 
to ascertain whether I was asleep, in the body or out, 
for nothing that was human like this had I ever heard; 
and surely nothing superhuman would make such a 
shout at a door inhabited by man. I looked out, but 
durst neither arise or call for help. The family and 
fervanta were all above ; and when repeated yells had 
echoed and re-echoed^ the servant opened die door, 
and all was still. I could not see what entered, and 
waited for an explanation, supposing there must be 
some out-of-the-way animal appended to the family. 
In a moment, the servant entered with, << Don't be 
afeard, ma'am ; it's only the beggar woman that sleeps 
out of doors. She always comes at light to get the 
potato, and if I am not up, she makes that scream to 
wake me. She won't hurt ye. She's innocent, and 
goes away wheu 9be gets the potato." This was the 
beggar I had seen asleep under the wall, when going 
to the mines. I ventured out, and saw her snugly 
alttiiig on the hearth, enlivening the turf under the 
pot. She was more than good-looking for a woman 
who must have been forty *five, and seventeen years of 
which she had buffetted storm and sleet, snow and 
rain, in open air. She shrunk from my rude gaze. I 
said good morning ; she made no answer. 

"Why are you sitting here ?" I added. " Waiting 
for the potato, ma'am." 

When the potatoes were ready, she selected the 
quantity and quality she liked, took them in her petti- 
coat, and hurried out. 

Her voice was soft, and her manners childlike, wholly 
at variance with the terrific scream she made at the 
4oor. The doctor gave me the history of this strange 
ancmialy* " She was of a good family, married well, 
and in all Ireland," he added, "there was not a better 
housekeeper. But her husband died, and by a train 
of misfortunes, she lost all. Her relations were 
treacherous, and she was at last ruined. Disappointed, 
and jealous of tjie world* she determined to leave its 

126 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. vm. 

society, and wandered from home, living on the little 
money she had; washing her clothes in the brooks and 
springs, as she met them ; keeping herself cleanly for 
years; sleeping in open air, wrapped in her cloak. 
She appeared sane, but never saluted any one, nor 
never asked charity, till all she had was gone. Whe- 
ther she had recourse to that noise as a defence was 
not known, but it proved a sure one. The police had 
endeavoured to take her into some shelter from the 
rain, but every one would take up his *two heels,' 
when she set up that scream. No one in the parish 
ever molested her ; every child is afraid of the yell.** 
She had found her way to the doctor's house years 
before, and he had made her welcome to a breakfast 
and dinner, and she now calls at the dawn of day. If 
the servant be not up, she gives the scream, and the 
door is soon opened. Twelve is her dinner-hour, and . 
the time is always understood. She is losing her care 
over her clothes and person, though she is quite re- 
moved from the appearance of a dirty beggar. She 
never whines, nor tells you of the Blessed Virgin, or 
promises prayers ; but simply asks, in a pleasant tone, 
" will you give me some potatoes ?" She never stops 
to eat them in the house, but gives a short " Thank 
you," and goes hastily out. This is " the beggar that 
sleeps out of doors," and the rustics say to all who pass, 
** Don't ye di&Lurb her; for this same bawl would 
frighten the life of ye." 

The hereditary sufferings which have been trans- 
mitted from father to son, through many generations 
in Ireland, have developed every propensity of the 
heart in striking characters, and every variation of 
mind may be seen in one day's walk, by an attentive 
observer, — from strength to weakness, from love to 
hatred, and from right to wrong. " Do you wish to 

see a new object?" said Mrs. W , "step to the 

door." Here sat upon the ground a young woman, 
with a sweet infant in her arms, her person genteel, 
her features peculiarly symmetrical ; a placid blue eye, 
finely arched eyebrows, and a high smooth forehead^ 

CHAP, vra.] CO. OF KILKENNY. 127 

fair skin^ and brown hair ; a subdued voice, and of the 
gentlest manners. She approaches softly, often with- 
out speaking ; and if a piece be offered, she sits down 
quietly, feeding the infant, which she always calls 
General, and of which she is peculiarly fond. While 
eating, she mutters to herself, often using the name of 

« And who is William ?" I asked. " He's my hus- 
band, ma'am." " And is he kind to you ?" " He is 
not, ma'am ; he bates me." " And for what does he 
beat you ?" " Because I dont bring him home more 
potatoes, ma'ani." This was spoken in the most child- 
like simplicity, and like one that had been chastised 
for an alleged fault which had never been committed. 

Enquiring who or what she might be, her simple 
history was, that her husband was a brute, and had so 
misused her that she had become insane, but perfectly 
docile. He turned her upon the street daily, to beg 
her own bread and his food ; and when she returned 
with a scanty supply, he flogged her, while she never 
resisted, nor upbraided him. As she adjusted her Ge- 
neral upon her back, she muttered something about 
her William, touching the hearts of all with pity, and 
they could only say, ** Poor thing ! she is crazed." And 
no wonder if the greater part of Ireland were crazed. 
Not 9 week since I have landed on these shores, but I 
have seen sufferers, should their tale be told, which 
would move the pity of the most unfeeling. 

As I was enquiring one day of an old woman the 
distance to a place, ** Ask the lady to walk in, and rest 
her a bit," said the old man. I walked in, and found 
a cleanly swept cabin, a bed behind the door, and a 
little pile of turf and a couple of stools. The old man 
had his spade in his hand, and when I asked him what 
he had a day, " Not scarcely enough to give the sup and 
the bit, ma'am." This emphatically tells the story of the 
manner of eating among all the peasantry. They take 
the potato in the hand, bite off a bit, and take a sup of 
milk from the cup. " Have you children ?" " Not 
one at home. The last that staid with me was a fine 

1-28 CO. OF KILKENNY. [chap. viii. 

lad of tweDty-two. He was ailin* a bit, and went to 
bed there, and slept well through the night ; in the 
mornin* he asked for cold water. There was none, 
and I said, < Wait and I will go to the spring.' * You 
can*t go now ; its too eariy,' and turned away his face, 
and departed. That was the last of my boy, God be 
praised ! and now the father and I are alone, and shall 
soon be with him, for ye see we are old, and toil'd many 
a wairy day to rair our lads, and now the wide waters 
or the grave separates us." There was a kind of pathos 
in the old lady's allusions, which savored of ancient 
days, when, as Cambrensis says in the Jiwelfth century, 
" the Irish always expressed their grief musically." 

When I returned to the doctor's, I found among 
his beneficiaries a pale young girl of nineteen, in- 
teresting in her manners, who had come there with 
threatening symptoms of a decline. She possessed all 
the Irish vivacity, and though with a severe cough 
and husky voice, yet she was always in a cheerful 
mood ; and her lively song and merry laugh told you 
that her heart was buoyant, though pain often held her 
eyes waking most of the night. Her voice was sweet 
as the harp, and often when I heard it at a distance, 
could not persuade myself but it was a flute. She had 
stored her memory with the songs of her country, and 
her company was always acceptable among her class 
on account of this acquirement, as well as the power 
of mimicry, which she eminently possessed. She would 
screen herself from sight behind some curtain, and go 
through a play, performing every part, and sing with 
the voice of a man or a woman as the case might re- 
quire. One night she had been amusing us in this 
way, when she appeared from behind the screen, and a 
marljle-like paleness was over her face. I said to her, 
" I fear you have injured yourself." She answered not, 
but sat down, and sung "The Soldier's Grave" in 
so pathetic a manner, that I wished myself away. 
They were sounds I had heard in my native country, 
but never so touching, because the voice that made 
them was so young, and probably soon would be hushed 

CHAP, vin.] CO. OP KILKENNY. 129 

in death. Even now, while writing, I hear her sweet 
voice humming a tune in the chamber where she sits 
alone in the dark. She is of humble birth, and her 
mother is a widow, and she has bad no assistance of 
education to raise her above the poorest and most ig- 
norant peasant; yet nature has struggled, or rather 
genius, through many difficulties, and placed her where, 
even now, she appears to better advantage than many 
who bai^ been tolerably educated ; but the flower is 
apparently drooping, and must soon fall from the stem. 
Tet she will laugh and sing on, even when those about 
her are weeping at her premature decay. Last even- 
ing, a dancing-master came in with a little son, each 
of them having a flddle ; and the music and dancing 
commenced. Mary (for that is the invalid's name) 
was asked to dance, and complied ; and with much ease 
and grace performed her part. This no doubt she 
would not hesitate to do, while her feet could move, 
did she know there was but a week between her and 
the grave* From childhood she has been taught to 
practice it, till it is interwoven in her very nature, and 
has become part and parcel of herself. 

Again I must leave these people and this family, 
and take a tour to Roscrea ; and every thing was done 
to make the journey comfortable. A car and driver 
were provided to take me twenty miles, which was the 
distance, free of expense. " You will come back to 
us/' said the doctor and his wife, "and you shall 
always find a welcome home, and wish we could do 
better," « Why is it," I said, as I passed from the sound 
of these kind voices, " that such favors should be shown 
to me by these strangers who had never seen me, while 
many were looking on me with suspicion, and wonder- 
ing what strange fancy should have brought me here ?' 
They manifested no fear about my heretical Protest- 
antism, though I talked freely, and read the scriptures 
in their hearing many a time. They conducted me to 
the Protestant church, showing me the way, and then 
turned to go to their own. I felt that their liberality 
in opinion and conduct was quite a rebuke on many, 


130 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vra. 

who profess the guidance of the Scriptures and the 
teaching of the Holy Ghost. 

A letter of introduction was given me to a sister of 

Mr. C of Urlingford, who lived six miles from 

Boscrea. A ride through a pleasant country, and on a 
good road, took us at sunset in sight of the spot where 
the letter was to be presented. The boy had seven- 
teen miles to travel that night, and I sent him back 
when in sight of the town, and made my way*through 
all sorts of company alone. A fair had been held, and 
happy was I to ascertain that among all the motley 
group, not one was staggering, not one was boisterous, 
or disposed to make disturbance. A " God save ye 
kindly, lady" from every rustic, with his pipe, and pig 
and ass he purchased at the fair ; and the women with 
the burden on their backs did the same. Could I fear 
from such a people as this ? 

I reached the house of the shopkeeper, and present- 
ing my dread letter, was kindly received, and kindly 
entertained. The master had grown rich by dint of 
the best of management ; his father, it is said, having 
given him a barrel of flour, telling him to make his for- 
tune on that, which he did. He was a baker, now a 
thrifty shopkeeper. But I had a little cause of regret 
here, for I heard one evening loud talking and singing 
over head, and one of the sons apologised by saying a 
few friends had walked in to spend the evening by 
themselves. " Will you go up and see them ? If you 
wish to see all Ireland, there is a part of it, and they 
will be proud to see you." Without getting my an- 
swer, he went to the room, and told the company an 
American lady was wishing to see them. " Welcome, 
welcome. Bid her speed." I entered, and found six 
men and two girls, who had been drinking till quite 

" What will ye have, lady ? We are glad to see an 
American." " I am a teetotaller, and wish you were all 
the same." I soon found this was no place for exhor- 
tation. They had taken a little beyond the "modera- 
tion," and when one cried one thing, and one another. 


I was quite glad to make my courtesy, after being told 
by an old man that, beggin* my pardon, he believed I 
was a nonsensical woman, goin' about the country. 
They all cried out, ** A blackguard, she is a dacent 
body.'* And I was glad to make my escape from this 
hornet's nest ; but my lecture to the family, when I 
went down, was still more unpalatable ; for they sold 
the " good creBiure** moderatelt/ ; and " what right had 
I to trouble myself?** seemed to be the feeling, when I 
was treated hospitably, though this was not said. Some 
unpleasant things followed, in which a servant was in- 
volved, which I regretted ; for though she was blam- 
able, yet she did as most servants do in all Ireland, and 
did as she was trained ; and leaving all personalities 
out of the question, I would say, that the habit of 
teaching servants to say the " mistress is out," and tell- 
ing lies of convenience, leads to most serious conse- 
quences. And though this is not confined to Ireland, 
yet here it has full play ; and not among Roman Ca- 
tholics only — all, all are poisoned, and often have I 
found myself totally led wrong by some wink or in- 
uendo from the mistress to the servant, and when I 
have admonished the servant, " What can I do ? I 
must please the mistress, or lose the place." The habit 
of deceiving, if it can be done adroitly, without detec- 
tion, and answer the present demand, is not thought 
sinful by many from whom I should have expected bet- 
ter things. The lower order are always in the fault, 
when this habit is mentioned ; but children and serv- 
ants are what their mothers and mistresses make them, 
in most cases. 

I was once seated at a dinner-table in a fashionable 
Protestant family ; and the mother, who was a widow, 
had three young daughters at her side, when she enter- 
tained her guests with a recital of a cunning lie, deeply 
laid, which succeeded happily, in cautioning a young 
man to do better ; and she ended by saying, " Did I not 
do it admirably ? He never detected the lie ; and don't 
you think I am a good manager ?" All answered in 
the affirmative, that it was most excellently done. The 

132 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vin. 

daughters joined in the acclamation, and all went off 
most flatteringly. The servant was in the room when 
part of this happy lie was related. 

Is this a solitary case ? I wish it were ; but many of 
the like have I met all over Ireland. I speak not in 
anger, but in kindness. It is a dangerous evil ; an evil 
which, when diffused through society, is a fatal blot 
upon the character ; and here let me beg you not to de- 
ceive yourselves, supposing that it is confined to Protest- 
ants or Romans, higher or lower order; it is everywhere. 

In the city of New York, some five years ago, the 
female members of a congregation appointed a meeting 
to agree that they would employ no more Catholic serv- 
ants, because they were so intriguing, and their chil- 
dren, who must be in contact with them, were learning 
to be deceptive and be liars. Thus these girls must 
lose their places, because they practised what they had 
supposed was praiseworthy. When I mingled in soci- 
ety in this country, I could see no difference in any 
religion or party ; I found, to my sorrow, all were impli- 
cated, with exception of some few families, and the 
peasantry of the mountains. " Where is boasting then ? 
it is excluded." 

Pardon this digression, and pardon this preaching. 
It is not my ill-will towards Ireland, but my good-will ; 
it is not my hatred, but ray love that makes me speak 
thus. I would that she had not a stain upon her gar- 
ments. I would that all I have said on this point were 
an error. 

"But you would be a very unsafe guest," said a 
shrewd lady, very much given to this fashionable in- 
trigue, ** if you are seeing and exposing these habits." 
Unsafe indeed! unsafe! I cannot sympathize with 
such unsafety. I never was afraid any stranger would 
come in contact with myself and servants, lest they 
should detect our intrigues. The family where I was 
stopping had treated me kindly, and had done no un- 
common wrong ; but I ventured to tell them the wrong, 
which was certainly taking great liberty as a guest ; and 
I would not place them behind any family of the gentry 


in activity in business, hospitality to the poor, thrifty 
management, and respectability, as the world has bap- 
tized it. 

After this night's encounter I made myself ready to 
depart, having staid a day longer than I intended ; 
and I left at an early hour, to walk six miles to Ros- 
crea. My kind friends sent a boy with an ass and 
car to carry me, which overtook me in sight of the 
town. I was fatigued ; a hill was before me, and a mile 
to the place. I got upon the car ; the obstinate ass ab- 
solutely refused to receive and carry the burden. In 
spite of the beating of the boy, and the kind coaxing of 
myself, he was as obstinate as an ass still ; and I left 
the wayward brute and boy to manage as they liked, 
and walked into the romantic town of Roscrea, among 
ruins of castles, abbeys, etc., some built by the Danes, 
some in the year 1200, and all going to decay. The 
people here appeared better dressed ; the women wear- 
ing bonnets and* shoes more generally, and their gowns 
not pinned up. 

Protestants, Catholics, and Methodists, have their 
churches here, and I was told that tolerable good feel- 
ing exists among them all. Being detained by rain in 
the house where I lodged, I had opportunity to see a 
little more of domestic life in a Protestant whiskey- 
house. The old lady had some higher notions of clean- 
liness than all her Irish neighbours, saying she had 
caught them by travelling in England. She was lame, 
and could not walk ; but for the poor servant's sake, I 
could have wished the lameness were in her tongue. 
This servant she employed for the paltry sum of four 
shillings a quarter, leaving her to make out the remain- 
der by the low practice of begging from lodgers and 
guests. Whether this poor girl was at work or at play, 
doing right or doing wrong, all was the same ; she al- 
ways went out when she should stay in, and stayed in 
when she should be out. She was young, unused to 
service, and " tremblingly alive" to please her mistress, 
but never succeeded. This woman was Solomon's "con- 
tinual dropping in a very rainy day." It was a cold 

134 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap, viu 

wet day ; I could not stay in a fireless room, and was 
obliged to see all that passed. When any one called for 
a dram, lame as she was, with a soft voice and happy 
smile, she would hobble to the whiskey room, and fill a 

It was a market day, and a goodly company of five 
came in, and made the cleanly kitchen a depot for their 
market lumber, much to the annoyance of the old lady; 
who, though she pleasantly invited them, yet wondered 
how they dared be so impudent the moment they had 
gone out. But at evening, when this family came in, 
and the father asked the mother what she would drink, 
and what he should get for the children, it was lovely 
indeed. The mother drew near this gate of death, tak- 
ing her children, notwithstanding all my entreaties to 
leave them out of the gulf, and the children all de- 
claring they did not want it. But the father said his 
children should fare as well as he did, and so all swal- 
lowed the liquid fire together. 

Finding I was from America, the good man invited 
me to his house, for he intended selling off*, and going 
there ; and the boys said they would have the lumpevB 
boiled at seven o'clock on the following Monday, if I 
would walk the five miles to enjoy them. This I 
promised to do if possible, and said good night. ^^ A 
fine family, that," said my lame hostess ; " he is a great 
farmer, has some hundreds in the bank, and if he goes 
to America, he don't go empty handed." So much for 
the salutary effects of the whiskey on the kind heart 
of the old lady, towards this annoying family. 

The next day was the Sabbath, and I inquired for 
the clean Testament which the good woman had told me, 
the day previous, had always been kept clean. It was 
locked in a drawer, and the good man, after consider- 
able fixing, prepared the key, and produced the tidy- 
kept book. It certainly spoke well for cleanliness, 
for a leaf had not been ruffled, nor a page sullied 
by the wicked finger of man or woman. It had been 
as securely kept as the Roman Catholic man, in a 
neighbouring parish, told me he kept his— he <* tied a 


string about it." When I had carefully used this trea- 
sure, it was locked again, and I saw it nor its precepts 
any more, till I left the house. 

Among the crowds that returned from early mass, 
was an old woman of one hundred, quite sprightly, and 
who never fails of being every morning early sitting on 
the gallery steps ; and as passengers go in, they drop a 
little into her hand. I found many old people in this 
town, as well as in all towns I had visited in Ireland; 
and not in any case had I found one who had lost his 

I went to the Protestant Church alone, and was 
twice asked by the sexton if there was no person in 
the town with whom I was acquainted. " Not one," 
I answered. " Not any one ?" " No, sir, not any one," 
at the same time telling him where I lodged. " I will 
put you in his seat then." O I what a thousand pities 
I had not borrowed a gold ring ! 

The sermon was a charity one, and the introduction 
an encomium on the Christianity of the English ; her 
disinterested benevolence, that though she was particu- 
lar to gather her own brood, yet she was willing that 
all should have the benefit of her wings ; that all deno- 
minations, though not of her church, were receiving 
bountifully of her kindness. Some wicked intruder 
whispered in my ear, that moment, "tithes! tithes I 
take all the poor unbeliever has ; but pay me my 
tithes." He ended this sermon beautifully and scrip- 
turally by saying, that nothing at the last day would 
be accounted as benevolence, but what was attended 
with self-denial. The landholders, he said, would have 
a great account to give ; for his part, he would rather 
be a beggar than be rich, and have a heart to join 
house to house and field to field, instead of giving to 
the poor, and "dispersing abroad." Excellent the- 
ology! if Mene Tekel be not written on the practice. 

When I returned from church, some potatoes were 
crisping on a nice gridiron for me, which the father 
had put there. A son of twenty- five was called in to 
dinner, and told his mother that the old jackass, his 

136 CO. OF TIPPEKARY. [chap. vm. 

father, had taken the best gridiron to crisp my pota- 
toes, and utterly refused taking any dinner on that 
account. He staid in the kitchen while I ate my 
potatoes, with his back towards me. What were the 
peculiar virtues of this gridiron I did not learn ; but, 
by way of apology, the mother told me that this " old 
jackass" was a stepfather. 

Monday morning, rose at five, to meet my engage- 
ment with the boys, where the lumpers were to be in 
readiness, and bade my hostess adieu, with her scolded 
servant and hopeful son, whose every look and action 
reminded me of Solomon's rod, the nicely kept Testa- 
ment, and the bar of whiskey, and I said, on going out, 

•• I would not live always, I ask not to stay," 

if I must stay in a tabernacle like this. The rain 
poured, and passing a few doors, I was spoken 
to by a daughter-in-law of my hostess, who invi- 
ted me to stop a few days ; this was an unexpected 
kindness. She belonged to the society of Christian 
Brethren, and seemed to understand the gospel prin- 
ciple of treating strangers, better than many who are 
sitting under the teaching of learned theologians. " I 
have staid," she said *' in the Protestant church, which 
had the <form without the power,' till I could stay no 
longer." She visited with me in the houses of those 
of like faith, whom I found very spiritual ; but I fear 
in danger of running into the same error that others 
in America of their belief have done, viz. that of being 
so afraid of the law, as having no law at all. Father 
Mathew, they said, had been a great curse ; because all 
he did was under the law ; and they really regretted 
he had ever been among them ; though some families 
had had more bread, they acknowledged. And I was 
severely rebuked for wishing to see him ; and, [as a 
Christian, I had no right to have any thing to do with 

Had I never seen the hydra-headed monster, bi- 
gotry, before, I should have put myself on the defen- 
sive ; but here, reader, the case is hopeless. With but 

c&AP. vxu.] CO. OF TIPPERARY. 137 

' one eye, one ear, a darkened understanding, boasting 
heart, and half a dozen tongues, he has so much reli- 
gion, he has none at all, or nothing that is tangible. 
He stalks through the earth wielding a rod of iron, and 
woe to the victim who comes in his way ; boasting of 
being taught of God, he lacks the first principles of 
religion, viz., charity and humility, without which 
all is lost. But all such people have a certain race 
to run, and if the seeds of saving grace are sown 
in their hearts, this grace will sooner or later break off 
the fetters. I said no more of Father Mathew, but 
went to hear him two days in succession. 

What a pity, pity, that the reasoning faculties of the 
Irish as a nation have been left so uncultivated, and 
that instinct and impulse have so powerful an ascen- 
dancy. But above all, what a miserable religion is it 
that does not humble but exalt the possessor I 

Thursday — Walked away from the town, and un- 
expectedly made my way to the poor house — every thing 
in order,' every thing in keeping — a healthy spot, and 
good fires enlivening the hearths of the old people^ 
which appeared more like luxury than poverty. But 
the constant complaint of all in these houses, when 
they can be heard by strangers, is the " thinness of the 
stirabout, and the want of the tay and tobacco." An 
old female confined to her bed looked entreatingly upon 
me, to whom I said, " You are nearly home, ma'am.** 
"O!" she answered, "I have offended God, and 
what shall I do ?" She appeared in great agony of 
feeling, knew she must soon die, and afraid of the 
judgment, I pointed her to the blood that cleanseth 
from all sin. Instantly a woman came behind me, and 
rudely called out, pulling me at the same time, " Come 
out of this place," hurrying me on. As soon as we 
were out of the room, she begged a few pennies, chang- 
ing her disgusting tone to one of softness arid suppli- 
cation. " Shame I" said I, " that you should rudely 
draw me away from that pitiful old woman, to beg." 
Knowing that the inmates are not allowed to ask 
charity, as they are constantly living upon it, I de- 

138 CO. OF TIPPEKARY. [chap vnt 

clined, and asked her how she should dare to take such 
liberties. This custom of begging is so prevalent, that 
I can find neither nook nor shade where to be safe, 
except in the middle of a sermon ; they will follow you 
to the church door, and be on the spot when you come 

Friday — I went to see a ruined antiquity, two miles 
from the town, and the walk to it was more like Ely- 
sian fields than that of commonplace earth and water. 
Here were the seats of the wealthiest landlord, fitted 
up in the most elegant style, and the miserable cabins 
of the poor full of woe. Here was one of the most ex- 
tensive distilleries still in operation in all Ireland, and 
Father Mathew has a large field yet to occupy. 

Calling in at the house of an Englishman, who was 
an extensive brewer, I found him in his parlor, with a 
well dressed sister from London, and was introduced 
to them as an American lady. " I never saw but one 
American lady," said the sister, ** and she was very 
wealthy ; but the most ignorant, unlearned creature 
that I ever saw that was well dressed." " Alas for my 
ignorant countrywoman !" I sighed, " and will you tell 
me what part of America was her residence ?" " Ha- 
lifax," was the reply. Her brother seemed mortified, 
and a silence ensued, when it was broken by my say- 
ing, that sorry was I to say, that all the British colo- 
nies were in a pitiful state as far as education was 
concerned, and that whoever visits them in the Cana- 
das, will find that but few comparatively are educated 
of the native inhabitants. She was silenced, and should 
have blushed at her own ignorance of the geography 
of the country ; for she actually thought Halifax be- 
longed somewhere in the United States. I am truly 
disgusted at so much national pride as is everywhere 
met with in travelling, and when I feel any for my 
own, it ist>nly in self-defence. The conceited boasting 
of those who have never read any thing but a prayer- 
book, and never travelled beyond the smoke of their 
own chimney, is truly annoying. 

Saturday evening a funeral passed, and I joined the 

CHAP, vra.] CO. OF TIPPERARY. 139 

procession, and followed it into the chapel yard. The 
corpse was carried around the chapel, and then brought 
back to the corner where the grave was prepared. A 
gilded coffin, with a lid put over like a band-box, was 
a novelty quite unlike the snug mahogany one» 
screwed closely down, with a plain plate upon the top, 
which I had been accustomed to see. I expected and 
even hoped to hear the Irish howl ; for when the corpse 
was let into the grave, the poor old widowed mother, 
who had crept a mile from the poor-house on her staff, 
to see him buried, fell down upon her face, and gave 
the most piteous cry. Another old woman rushed 
towards her, calling out, " Stop, ye are goin' to do what 
nobody does now. Get up and stop the bawliuV She 
was pulled up, and by force dragged away to a seat, 
and told peremptorily by a man to stop her crying. 
" Ye cant bring him back, and what's all this bawlin' 
about what ye cant do ?" 

" That is the very reason, sir," I said, " why she 
weeps ; because she cannot bring him back ; let her 
give vent a few moments to her grief, and she will be 

Turning to her, I asked, " Is this your only son ?** 
" One little boy I have with me in the poor-house, 
ma'am. It is hard for mothers to see their children 

She was calm in a moment, and sat pale and silent 
till all was over. The daughter, of about eighteen, 
took the sheets with which the coffin was carried, into 
her chequered apron, and a spade which had covered 
with earth the coffin of her brother, and after all kneel- 
ing down upon the ground to pray for the soul of the 
departed a few moments, they went silently away. 

Poor simple unheeded rustics ! No " sable hearse 
or nodding plume" has honored your procession ; no 
gilded mourning coach has brought the crippled grey- 
hair'd mother to see this son of her love put in his nar- 
row house ; no richly attired friends stood by when the 
tumbling clods were rolling upon his coffin, to support 
her, and shed their crocodile tears at the loss of so 

140 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. viii. 

goodly a child. No ! she had the fearful sin of being 
poor ; this alone must shut her out from sympathy, 
must not even let her weep. The sister, too, was im- 
plicated ; this blot of blots, this foul disgrace of poverty 
was found on her. The homely apron which she toil'd 
to purchase must wrap the shroud, and her coarse la- 
borious hands must lift the spade which covered the 
bosom of her brother. 

At eight o'clock the next morning, Father Mathew 
gave a stirring scriptural discourse on the importance 
of temperance, proving from scripture, as well as from 
facts, the sin of using ardent spirits. The concourse 
was immense, so that they " trode one upon another." 
At twelve o'clock he gave another address. His sim- 
ple, unaffected manner carries that evidence of sincerity 
and integrity with it, that no one can doubt but he 
who loves to doubt. His unabating zeal is beyond all 
praise ; yet at this late hour do I hear his name tra- 
duced by his countrymen, who are ascribing his object 
to a political one. Yet among all his traducers not 
one can be found who is an abstainer, whether he took 
the pledge from him or from some other one ; and I 
should not hesitate to say that in all Ireland he has no 
enemies among the teetotalers ; few among the drunk- 
ards ; but many, many, among the moderate drinkers. 

Monday morning he was again at the chapel, with 
hundreds of children urging their way, who 

•* Pluck'd his gown to share the good man's smile." 

It was a lovely sight; angels could not weep at this — 
Not a child was frowned upon, though the crowd was 
pressing, so that with difficulty he made his way. Some 
of the little ones he took in his arms ; on all heads he 
put his hand, within his reach. I ascended the gallery, 
and enjoyed an undisturbed view. A large circle was 
formed ; in the enclosure of this circle were the chil- 
dren, kneeling down, clasping their hands, and lisping 
the pledge. Those who could not speak were carried 
in the arms of their mothers, and they, kneeling, 
repeated the pledge for them. Many a little one. 

CHAP, vin.] CO. OF TIPPERABY. 141 

when rising from its knees, did he raise in his arms, 
kiss and bless it, then send it out from the ring. Three 
hundred that day took a pledge to abstain from the use 
of tobacco in all forms. This dirty article he ridiculed, 
and begged of mothers to abstain from the shameful 
practice. Among all the motley group, not one child 
was heard to cry throughout the day, and they might 
continually be seen crawling on all fours, pushing their 
heads through the mass, to take the pledge, or make 
their way out from the circle. One little child of but 
two years and three months, when she took it, pushed 
her blue bonnet through the crowd, sprung to her feet, 
murmured in a sweet tone, " Fadder Matty," running 
about the chapel, nor could she be stopped. She was 
caught up, but would not be hushed, and when her 
name was asked, it was " Fadder Matty,** till, by this 
continual chatter, she so attracted the attention of all, 
that she was carried from the chapel, and the song was 
heard till it died in the distance. 

A few moments before four, the assembly broke up, 
and mothers and children ran after the good man, the ^ 
mothers crying, "The baby, plase, wants the pledge.'' 
The pledge was given to many a baby in the chapel 
yard, and on the street, till the coach, which was about 
starting, shut the kind-hearted man from their sight. 

I succeeded to reach him through the crowd a letter 
of introduction, and only had time to say, " I hope to 
see you in Cork." This was a day of great triumph 
to Father Mathew. " My hope, my strong hope," he 
said, " is in the children; they never break the pledge; 
and if the rising generation can be saved, the great 
work will be accomplished." 

I had heard much of this man in my own country, 
but here I saw him, and must acknowledge he is the 
only person of whom I had heard much praise, who 
ever met the expectation given. He more than met 
it; he passed it by. He was farther removed from all 
that could render him suspected than I had supposed, 
and I was convinced that acquaintance must remove 
all honest distrust. 

142 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. vin. 

Had the object of my visit to Ireland been to have 
rummaged castles and abbeys, old graveyards and 
bridges, for antiquities to spread before the public, the 
public (to say the least) must have said, " We have 
caught nothing." Many and most of these things I did 
visit, but they left no other impression than to con- 
vince me that a powerful, religious, and intelligent 
people must have inhabited this island; and they urged 
me on to penetrate into bog and glen, mountain and 
cave, to see the remains of this people, to ascertain 
what vestiges are left of the high-toned greatness, the 
magnanimity of soul, the sweet breathing of poetry, 
and the overflowing tenderness of heart, which must 
once have pervaded this isle. I must not anticipate ; 
but here will say, that if you will follow my zig-zag 
path through bog and heathy mountain, I will show you 
in these fastnesses, and among these rocks, a people on 
whom the finger of God has left an impress that can- 
not be misunderstood. If you get weary, we will sit 
down by some sparkling rivulet, and lave us in the 
purest and sweetest water that ever flowed, but the 
water of life proceeding from the throne of God. If 
you get hungry, some mountain Rebecca shall say, 
" come in, ye stranger, and take a morsel, and we will 
set ye on yer way." Though not a torn leaf of the 
written volume of the word of God could be found, yet 
there emphaticatically this word is written, believed 
and practised. 

Before leaving Roscrea, we will ascend to the top 
of the castle, and see the town. This ancient build- 
ing is now used as a barrack. Dr. Downer, who 
politely showed it me, was well acquainted with its 
history, and observed, " you see what remains of its 
former greatness, and what a lesson it gives of the 
frailty of human grandeur." Cromwell had been here ; 
and though it is said the memory of the wicked shall 
rot, yet his is still flourishing in the hearts of all Ire- 

At night had full proof of Irish merriment, illus- 
trated by half a dozen young men from the country. 

CHAP, vin.] CO. OF TIPPERARY. 143 

who had come into town to assist a man in digging his 
potatoes. Finding they had no where to lie down 
after the fatigue of the day, they ate their potatoes, 
" and rose up to play." The dancing and singing were 
so boisterous, that they shook the cabin, and reached 
the ears of most of the neighbourhood, who supposed 
they must be intoxicated. But all were teetotalers, 
and had not taken a drop ; yet they never relaxed 
during the night, and the morning found them still in 
the same heart, though they had worked hard the pre- 
ceding day, eaten nothing but potatoes, nor slept any 
through the night. An Irishman, to whom the circum- 
stance was related, answered, " The Irishman's merri- 
ment begins at his christening, and ends only when he 
has been well waked." It is even so. The poor 
Connaughtman, when at work for a rich landlord for 
four-pence a day, will eat his potato, sleep in a barn, 
he will sing and dance as merrily as the rich hunter 
about the lakes of Killarney. 

A little incident occurred one morning, which ego- 
tism and boasting would forbid noticing, if both duty 
and inclination did not call for an acknowledgment of 
God's never ceasing care over his creatures, especially 
to me in a land of strangers. A genteel tidy woman 
came into the house every morning, to assist for an 
hour or two, and get her breakfast. This woman was 
sitting by the fire, when a son of the landlady took up 
a pennyworth of bread which the poor woman had 
just bought, with a penny she had borrowed from his 
mother. He said, " Is this yours, Peggy ?" " No 
matter, Mickey, you are quite welcome ; take it — take 
it." This was all she had for a breakfast for a daugh* 
ter, who had walked thirteen miles the evening before 
from a place of service, to see the mother. I had gone 
to my room, and she entered. Seeing me, as she 
thought, a little sober : " And, ma'am, I fear ye are 
fretted. Don't fret ; the Lord is good. It was never 
so dark with me as at this minute. My little slip of a 
gal is come, and I have no breakfast for her, and it's 
hard, ma'am, to have a child come to ye, and not have 

144 CO. OF TIPPEKARY. [chap. vni. 

a bit to give her to ate ; and I have taken off my pet- 
ticoat, and pinned a piece of flannel about me, and the 
good God have mercy on me, I dont know what to do," 
importuning me at the same time not to fret, the Lord 
would certainly take care of me. " But I have six- 
pence beside to pay for my rent, and the good God 
send it to me, or I shall lose my little cabin to-moirow." 
When her face was turned about, the sixpence was 
put into her hand ; in an ecstacy of joy, she fell upon 
her knees before the donor. This woman had been 
the wife of an officer, and had seen something of fash- 
ionable life, but had not lost that native heart-feeling 
which the uneducated Irish so eminently possess. In 
her concern for me, she forgot the application of her 
exhortation to herself; though she was fretting, she 
seemed not to know it. These Irish are a great ano- 
maly to all but the Almighty : reader, remember the 

I was about departing for Galway, in hopes of find- 
ing some money in the post-office, which was to be sent 
there from Urlingford. This money was to come from 
America to Urlingford ; I had but five shillings before 
the sixpence was paid, and the distance to Galway was 
more than seventy miles. On this four and sixpence 
I must sleep, and eat, and ride, unless I should walk. 
Should I not meet my money at Galway, I must walk 
back, making one hundred and fifty miles or more. 

It was October 29th, when I resolved on leaving 
Roscrea, and walk to the Protestant friend, five miles 
on my way, where the boys were to have the lumpers 
prepared some mornings before, l.lie road was very 
muddy ; the good woman who was so obliged by the 
sixpence would go with me to carry my basket. Rain 
soon began to pour, and we returned. Sitting down, 
meditating what next could be done, John Talbot, a 
Quaker, entered, saying he had engaged a passage on 
a car of a friend, who would carry me to the spot 
where I wished to call. What could be brighter ? the 
rain ceased, and I got upon the car with the Quaker 
and his lady, and quite soon enough reached the Pro- 

CHAP, vra.] CO. OF TIPPERARY. 145 

testant family, for the company of these friends was 
agreeable and instructive. 

It was now nearly three o'clock, and making my way 
to the cabin, through a muddy lane, I met sights untold; 
but I will tell you what I can. There were two pigs, 
two dogs, two cats, and two batches of chickens just 
introduced upon the theatre of action, which were en- 
closed in a niche in the wall, and a huge pile of pota- 
toes just poured upon the table for the workmen and 
children. A hole in the mud floor for the pigs and 
poultry to take their " bit," wooden stools and chairs 
to sit down upon, and a pot not inferior in size to any 
farmer's, in Ireland. This was my friend's kitchen, and 
these were the appurtenances, and this was the nice 
family whose money was in the bank, whose children 
were trained by a superior teacher, and whose virtues 
wanted no finish but teetotalism. I thought I saw a 
sly look from the Quaker, and a meaning reciprocation 
from the spouse, when I was extolling the farmer on 
the car. 

When my thoughts were a little collected, I said, 
" Well, my boys, the lumpers I see are ready." 
** They are for the workmen ; father and mother are 
gone to Birr, and won't be home till nine o'clock." 
Birr was the place I had hoped to see before I slept ; 
but it was now three o'clock, the road quite muddy, 
and the lumpers were not for me, and the father and 
mother gone. I resolved to test more fully the kind- 
ness of the Quaker, and entered his gate. " Thee had 
better stop, and rest thee till to-morrow ; and then see 
thy friends." It was most thankfully accepted. It 
would be useless to say that neatness and comfort abode 
here ; the good housewife made her own bread, and 
baked it as bread should be baked. They were 
Quakers, and that one word in every nation comprises 
all this. A supper of comfort, with fresh apples upon 
the table — the first I had seen on a table in Ireland — 
a cheerful fire, and clean bed, made me almost forget 
that a wide ocean separated me from the privileges of 
home. But another day was in prospect; this day 


146 KING'S COUNTY. [chap. ix. 

arrived, and taking my breakfast at seven, I hastened 
away, about nine, again to the thrifty farmer's. 

The night's rest had made no improvement in the 
cabin ; the keepers of it had returned, but so refined 
had they become, that the master, who was standing 
bolt up-right, as if to guard the hole of the floor where 
the pigs breakfasted, (for he was near it,) told me as 
soon as I said, «* Good morning," that the " mistress 
was out ;" and so she was, for I saw her slide into a 
little room back of the outer door, as I entered. A 
short good morning ended the call. These things are 
not written to ridicule what could not be avoided, nor 
to expose faults which are and should be kept hidden ; 
but they are written because they might be avoided, 
and should be censured; they are nuisances which no 
family, having the light of revelation and the benefits 
of decent society, should present to the world. They 
are a libel on the character of Him who is purity itself, 
and who abhors all that is filthy. Poor himian na- 
ture ! 

Birr — A Miserable Protestant Lodging-house — A Eich Distil- 
ler's Family mined by Intemperance— A Wealthy Eccen- 
tric — Lord Bosse's Telescope, and Lord Rosse — A Baptist 
Minister — Courtesy of the Children of the Irish Peasantry — 
Another Unfortunate Letter of Introduction — Walk from 
Ballinasloe to Loughrea — Miserable Condition of the Poor — 
A returned Emigrant— PeUow Travellers— An Interesting 
Trio — Reading the Bible — A Scripture Discussion — A Con- 
naught Catholic's Experience of Church-going— Market-day 
in Loughrea — A Shebeen House — A Pig's Honesty — ^Re- 
morseless Staring — More Bible Reading— Scarcity of Female 
Beauty in Galway — Staring in Galway beyond Description 
— Ancient Burial-Groimd — Visit to a Presbyterian Minister 
who had just married a Rich Wife — Laborers standing in 
the Market-place — Miserable Lodgings— Walk to Oranmore 
— The name of " American Stranger" a Key to the People's 
Hearts— A Connemara Girl.; 

My walk of ^ve miles was not tedious ; the air was 
wholesome, the lark was singing, the road smooth, and 


the scenery pleasant. The town of Birr was the resi- 
dence of Lord Bosse and his telescope, and here I had 
hoped to have a feast of some other worlds of light but 
this, on which I had so long figured to so little ad- 
vantage. It rained as I entered the town, and turning 
into a neat little cottage, found a kind welcome by the 
cleanly master and mistress, who are Roman Catholics, 
and was invited to eat, and then they directed me to a 
Protestant lodging-house. I say Protestant, because 
the Catholics knowing me to be one, generally select- 
ed this sort, supposing I should be better pleased* 
They told me the people were kind and respectable ; 
this was true, but the rooms were dark and without 
floors, and two enormous hogs which were snoring in 
an adjoining closet were called out to take their sup- 
per in the kitchen, which made the sum total a sad 
picture.* I was kindly urged to take supper, and sat 
down with them, took an apple, and passed a solitary 
evening. Not tliat I was sorry for my undertaking, 
but the lack of all social comfort, where comfort should 
be expected. When I went into my bed-room I felt 
like bursting into tears ; every thing looked so for- 
bidding, and so unlike cleanliness about the bed. Clean 
sheets were begged, and clean sheets were granted ; yet 
it was a doleful night, and in the morning, after taking 
some potatoes, and asking for my bill, four pence was 
the answer. Cheap indeed ! I paid her more. 

The morning was dark ; the rain poured fast. At 
six, a hearse passed, bearing the corpse of the son of a 
distiller, who fell from his horse, and was killed, when 
intoxicated. The keeper of the lodgings remarked, 
that he had seen the father, and twelve sons grown 
to manhood, in church together. Seven of these sons 
have died by intemperance. Are whiskey-making, 
whiskey-selling, and whiskey-drinking attended with 
a blessing? 

* A cabin-keeper near Eoscrea, who kept her pigs in the 
the room, told me, ** An* throth, ma*am, I'd take him into my 
bed wid me, if he'd thrive any better. " Her bed was cnrtained 
and her cabin was clean. 


148 KING'S COUNTY. [chap. ix. 

I set off in the heavy rain to find the house or castle 
of a rich man, who was considered a great eccentric. 
He was owner of three domains, but had divested them 
of all their frippery, had put on a frieze -coat and 
brogues, and literally condescended to men of low 
estate in dress and equippage. He had taken many 
orphans into his house, and provided them food and 
clothing. When I reached his dwelling, my clothes 

were profusely drenched. Mr. S was not at 

home. I asked the housekeeper if I might step in till 
the rain should abate, and dry my clothes. She allowed 
me to do so ; and I followed her through a long gang- 
way of desolated halls, to a kitchen, and found a com- 
pany about to dine in the same way and on the same 
materials as the cabin people do. The rain continued, 
and an invitation to stop over night was not needed a 
second time. A fire was made in a parlor, where no 
carpets or supernumeraries met the eye. Tea, bread, 
and butter were offered, and the housekeeper made 
every thing pleasant. She had embraced the principles 
of her master, who had taken her, when but two 
years old, begging her from a widowed mother, who 
was embarking for England. He had been a father, 
indeed, she said^ and the care of the house was en- 
trusted to her. 

When T was comfortably prepared in my lodging- 
room, with a fire and clean bed, and contrasted it with 
the preceding night, in what extremes do I find my- 
self, from cabin to castle, tossed like a " rolling thing 
before a whirlwind," yet never destroyed. I slept in 
peace, and thanked God that in Ireland one rich godly 
man could be found, who called all mankind his 

In the morning, I took my breakfast, was kindly in- 
vited to come when Mr. S. should be at home, and 
went out, and called at the lodge-house, where was a 
godly- woman, poor in this world, but rich in faith. A 
pleasant hour was passed with her, for with such, les- 
sons are to be learned which the rich cannot teach. 
The rain had deluged the country the preceding night ; 


and many a poor cabin was swept away with the 
miserable furniture, and the affrighted inmates had 
fled, with their children in their arms, naked as they 
were, from their beds of straw. 

The lawn containing the telescope of Lord Rosse was 
open, and passing the gate, the old lady who presided 
in the lodge asked me to go through the grounds, which 
were free to all. Much did I regret that clouds ob- 
scured the sky the whole time I was in Birr, so that 
not one gaze could I have through that magnificent in- 
strument. The pipe is fifty-two feet in length, and 
six and a half in diameter. The earl is mentioned as 
a man of great philanthropy, and much beloved by the 
gentry and poor. 

Sahbath. — Heard the baptist minister preach to an 
audience of five, and he likewise broke bread to three. 
He observed, when he went out, that he felt it his duty 
to keep the light a burning, the more so, as there were 
but a few tapers kindled in the island. In the inter- 
mission, heard a sermon in the neat Methodist chapel, 
and that day and evening heard four good sermons. 
At the house of Mr. W. heard a Roman Catholic, 
who had been converted from Popery, relate his exer- 
cises of mind. A few others had renounced the doc- 
trines, and united with Protestant churches. The 
priest at whose chapel he attended had left also, and 
become a Presbyterian preacher. It was remarked by 
a Presbyterian clergyman, that when any become con- 
verts from that church, they are the most spiritual 
Christians of all others, and we must take great strides 
to keep up with them. 

November 4th. — Early on foot. I commenced a walk 
to Ballinasloe. The sun rose most beautifully ; such 
a morning my eyes had not greeted for months ; 
nothing was wanting to make sky, cloud, air, and earth 
most charming, but the curse of poverty removed from 
this beautiful island, or the curse of oppression, rather. 
The poor labourers were going to their work, smoking 
or singing, their tattered garments but an apology for 
clothing. As I passed the wretched cabins, now and 

150 CO. OF GALWAY. . [chap. ix. 

then the happy voice of some child singing a merry 
song greeted my ear, and on the muddy path before 
me heard a little girl of eight years old, who was seated 
on a car, driving an ass, humming a monotonous tune ; 
and going to her, said, " Good morning, little girl." 
" Good morrow kindly," «« Will you let me put my 
basket on your car ?*' " I will, ma'am." 

The manner which the children of the peasantry 
answer any question is quite pleasant. They never 
say "yes," or "no;" but "I have not, ma'am," "I 
will, ma'am," " I do, ma'am," or " do not, ma'am,*' &c. 

"Where have you been, little girl ?" I enquired. «*To 
carry my father to town, ma'am." 

It was early ; she had been more than a mile, and 
was returning, singing, to her breakfast of potatoes, 
(which she said she had not yet taken) clothed in 
miserable habiliments, and as happy as the child of a 
king. Getting a very pretty ** Thank ye, ma'am," for 
an apple, I gave my interesting companion good morn- 
ing, who said, " I must turn up the lane, ma'am." I 
looked after this self-possessed child, bare-headed, bare- 
footed, seated on a car, guiding an ass, at that early 
hour, going out without breakfast, and surely she lacked 
nothing but to be the daughter of Lord Rosse to enable 
her to measure the distance of the planets at the age 
of sixteen. But hush! "she must be kept in her 

I met many interesting characters through the morn- 
ing; and whether labourer or beggar, most of them 
were smoking, and none of them in a fretful mood. I 
talked a little with all, and scarcely spoke to one who 
did not drop something in my ear worth recalling. It 
is noticeable in all the peasantry of Ireland, that whe- 
ther the idea be new or old which they advance, it will 
be given in such a novel dress, and in so unexpected 
a manner, that something new, and often something 
beautiful, will be suggested to the mind. 

At the foot of a hiU, two miles from the town, I sat 
down upon a stone, opposite a company of men and one 
woman, digging potatoes. " She seems to be a lady," 

CHAP. IX.] CO. OF G^WAY. 151 

said one, peeping through the hedge to see me. The 
woman left her spade, and did the same. I was about 
to enter into conversation, when a young man with his 
wife going on a car to the town, invited me to get up, 
and ride. A long hill was before me, and the ride was 
acceptable. I resolved to avail myself of every invi- 
tation to ride on any vehicle, however humble; for two 
-reasons — to rest me, and to learn more of the people 
than I could by walking alone. To be a peasant my- 
self, was the only way of getting at facts which I was 

Now for the reception. Dr. White, in his good na- 
ture, had urged a letter upon me to a family whom he 
had befriended, and of whom he had the highest regard. 
He had not seen them for some years ; *' and will you," 
he said, << do me the favour to give them this letter 
yourself?" I could not refuse him, though, when he 
added they had become quite prosperous, and were 
very much afflicted when he first became acquainted 
with them, I well knew what to expect, if they were 
like most upstarts in life. But go I must, and go I 
did, and here is the result. 

My first depot was into a whiskey room, and a chill 
came over me. By this they had grown rich. A bro- 
ther of the family had spent some years in America, 
and was much attached to it, but unfortunately this 
brother was absent. Another was behind the counter, 
busy in measuring whiskey, and in every nation where 
property is acquired by this degrading practice, the finer 
sensibilities of the heart are all blasted, and no age or 
station commands either attention or respect, that does 
not administer to the interests of the traffic dealer. 
Long I waited before the customers were served. Then 
seeing a little pause, I presented the letter. It was 
read, but " Who is this Doctor White ? Did he ever 
live in Thurles ? I think I have heard of him, but 
don't know him. My brother, who has been to Ame- 
rica, would be happy indeed to see you, but he is gone 
to Dublin ; he would render you any service. My sis- 
ter too is gone, and the family are quite deserted." 

152 CO. OF gALWAY. [chap. ix. 

I then asked the privilege of writing a note to the 
doctor, which was readily granted ; while I was doing 
so, in an adjoining room, a young woman entered, and 
passed through without speaking. The brother then 
came in, and begged me to step into the next door and 
write, as the room I was then in was not his. When 
I entered the door, the young woman who had pre- 
viously passed through, was standing in the room, 
with the letter from Doctor W. in her hand, whom the 
young man introduced as his sister. I saw the ma- 
noeuvering ; but took all in sober earnest. The sister 
was so delighted to do something for Doctor W. ; he 
had served them years ago, and she should never for- 
get his goodness. "Do walk up stairs, and tell us what 
we can do for you ? you must have some dinner, and 
I will give you some chop till dinner is ready." Find- 
ing I did not take flesh, she was flung into great distress, 
" what should she do to make me comfortable ?" Some 
cheese and milk were brought, and she talked religiously 
on self-denial, was much given to despondency, loved 
retirement, suddenly begged pardon, but she had an 
engagement, and would leave me unmolested to finish 
my lunch and my letter. 

The brother soon entered, asking for his sister ; but 
she would soon be in, and he regretted much that he 
was so busy, that he could not go about the town with 
me. The blarney was under full sail, and who does 
not like blarney ? So I finished my letter, walked into 
and through the pretty town, visited the lunatic asylum, 
a noble building, with many hundreds of lunatics. I 
returned to the house at sunset ; all was solitude, as if 
the finger of death were in the dwelling. The servant 
who opened the door spoke not, and I went up stairs 
to get my basket and parasol. The parlour door was 
locked. I sat down on a little couch near by, when 
the servant came softly, well schooled in duplicity, and 
in a soft tone said, " My mistress told me to say we 
have no beds for you ; your basket is in the hall ; she 
has gone out to spend the night." ** Where is my para- 
sol ?" " O you can't have that ; it is locked in the 

CHAP, ix.l CO. OF GALWAY. 153 

parlour. You can call and get it to-morrow " I did 
call on the morrow, and left a note for the sentimental 
young lady, which I hoped might do her good in her 

In a neat little cottage I found the cleanest accom- 
modations. They were a snug little room on the first 
floor, with a nicely curtained bed, a turf fire, two can- 
dles, and some crisped potatoes, and all for the bill of 
four pence. I was certainly the gainer, even had I 
wished to have stopped with the doctor's friend ; and 
had I been kindly received, I should not have enjoyed 
such secluded comforts as were mine in that silent re- 
treat. When I was in quiet possession of all these 
enjoyments, I sent up a prayer that I might be cured, 
effectually cured, of putting myself in the power of the 
proud, the ignorant, yes, the ungodly world to abuse 
me, — to trifle with every feeling of my heart, which 
naturally inclines me to be credulous. 

Why am I not content with the resources God has sup- 
plied me, without running to silly worms for aid which 
I can do without ? Why not turn to the God that is 
within me, and there seek that honor which comes 
from above ? Give me truth, justice, and integrity 
for my letters of introduction, and I will ask no more.* 
Two young men in the house divided the thirty miles 
to Galway into three parts, giving me stopping places 
each day, to see the country ; and early in the morn- 
ing, in a pleasant if not happy mood, I was on my 
way, refreshed with rest, determined that no treatment 
in Ireland should make me unhappy. 

Walking a few miles, it began to rain. Turning to 
a miserable cabin without a window, or a chimney, the 
smoke issuing from the door, I found a widow pre- 
paring a basket of potatoes for her ducks. ** Maybe 
ye'd take a potato, ma'am," taking a couple, and peel- 
ing them with her Angers. I took them, and they 

• If the professed Christian, with the Bible in his hand, do 
not know his duty towards the stranger, then let him ** tie a 
string** around that Bible, and go into some moimtain cabin 
where the Bible has never been, and there take a lesson. 

H 3 

154 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

made me a comfortable repast. At two o'clock I entered 
a second cabin ; a poor widow woman was carding wool, 
sitting literally in the mud. These huts are always 
muddy, where the thatch is poor and the rain can pene- 
trate. Five children were about her, waiting for the 
potatoes which had not yet been put over. They had 
come in from their work hungry, and the sum total 
was a pitiful sight. Asking her if she tilled any land, 
she answered, "I pay rent for five acres, but the 
children cannot till it. I am waitin' till they are 
rair^d, hoping I can then raise something and if I give 
it up, I cannot get it again." Pocn* as she was, she 
had paid a pound an acre on this land, by going out 
with her children and working in the fields, at three 
pence and six pence a day.* The reader must know, 
that in many parts of the south and west, when it is 
neither seed time or harvest, many a man works for 
six pence, four pence, and often in the winter for three 
pence a diay. 

She begged me to wait for some potatoes, but I could 
not. Passing on, I found a man and bis wife win- 
nowing oats by the way side, and sitting down upon 
a pile of straw, told them my pedigree ; and so in- 
terested did they become, that I was urged to go in 
and take some potatoes, which they said were already 
boiled. I went in, and the sight of the hovel was 
frightful even to me. How can man, who is made in 
the image of God, sit here, eat here, and sleep here ? 
was my honest and silent enquiry. A sickly dirty 
child of two years old, that could neither stand nor 
talk, was sitting upon a dirty pillow, and two or three 
more in rags about the hearth. From this abode a 
daughter of eighteen was preparing to go to America, 
to get her pound and a half a month for service. In 
this cabin she had been born, in this had she acquired 

• Does this look like idleness ? Many a poor widow have I 
teen, with some little son or daughter, spreading her manure 
by moonlight, over her scanty patch of ground ; or before the 
rising of the sun, going out with her wisp about her forehead, 
and basket to her back, to gather her tuif or potatoes. 


all the knowledge of domestic duties she possessed, and 
from this cabin she was about to be transported into 
that depot for all and for every thing that by " hook 
or by crook" can float across the waters. 

A letter of introduction, reader, was wanted by the 
mother, and of recommendation too ! What could I 
do ? I had eaten of their potatoes, and money they 
would not take ; " but if ye*d spake a good word for 
my daughter, it's all I would want, and she's as strong 
a gal as ye'd meet in a day's walk." The good sense 
of the mother at last hit upon a proper expedient ; she 
saw her mistake, and only requested that I should 
write my name for the girl, and when she went to New 
York, she would take it and show it to me, should she 
find me there. I wrote a few lines, much to their 
gratification, which the mother and daughter read with 
ease. This little attention they greatly appreciated, 
and we parted mutually honored by exchange of 

I had left the cabin when the mother called after 

me, " Will ye call, lady, upon Mrs. L . She lives 

on the hill ; she is rich, and could do anything for ye 
that ye might be wantin'. She's a good and a kind 
lady to the poor." Assuring her I had not come to 
visit the rich, and that I had enjoyed a good dinner 
in her cabin, she then pointed me to a family who had 
spent some years in America, and returned with a 
handsome fortune. I went to the house ; the mistress 
was gone, but going to the barn, I found the man busied 
at work, who appeared quite Americanised. He told 
me much of New York, for he had left it since I had. 
He was whole and tidy, and made quite a contrast to 
the tattered one working with him. << You must go in, 
and take some dinner with us," he said. << I have had 
some potatoes, sir, and do not need any." 

" Potatoes I" he answered, disdainfully. " You can't 
eat potatoes. I know what you have in America, and 
how you all Uve." For a half hour I felt transported 
to New York, forgetting that I had ten miles to walk, 
with a basket on my arm, in Ireland, alone. This man 

156 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

ten years before went to New York, with his newly 
maiTied wife, not worth a pound ; both went out to 
service, and both laid by money, and have now re - 
turned with a pretty fortune, " to lay their bones," as 
he said, " on the old soil." 

" This goin' to America," said the labouring man, 
" makes the Irish, when they come home, quite altered 

I felt like leaving home when I left the yard, but 
in a few minutes walk a new companion accosted me. 
A traveller with a stick and bundle in his hand saluted 
me with, " A fine day, ma'am, for walkin', beggin' your 
pardon ; and how far may ye be tra vellin* ?" " To the 
next town, sir." " And that's the way I'm a goin* ; 
and as ye seem to be a stranger, (English, I 'spose) if 
I can sarve ye any way, shall I take yer basket ? Ye 
seem to be light on the fut, but the way is long before 
ye." " It may trouble you, sir, as you have a bundle." 

<< Not at all at all, ma'am. I wish 'twas twice as 
heavy. I always love to mind strangers, and ye'U see 
all the Irish so entirely. I'm a gardener, and goin' to 
Galway to be a steward, and do ye go to Galway, 
ma'am ? Ill carry your basket entirely, ma'am, and 
get ye a good lodgin' place, sich a nice body as ye 
seem to be must feel quare among strangers ; butye've 
nothin' to fear in Ireland. Ye may travel all night, 
and nobody '11 touch ye, ma'am." I did not believe it 
then, as I do now, for I had not travelled by night 
alone, as I have since. 

His volubility never ceased, till a beggar woman, 
with an enormous sack of potatoes under a ragged 
cloak, joined us, and we formed a trio of no conunon 
interest. She was a woman of more than sixty, yet 
the bloom had not left her cheeks, and when I said, 
** You look young and strong." " I am aged, ma'am, 
and my breath is getting cowld," was the answer. Pity, 
I thought, that such a breath as yours had not been 
drawn in some more fortunate isle, where 

** Beauty's gems and woman's worth are better known." 


She would and did keep our company, though twice 
she stopped to rest. A well dressed woman joined us, 
with her shoes and stockings in her hand ; her feet, 
like mine, were crippled, and we entered the large 
town of Loughrea as night was falling. Here the beg- 
gar and tidy woman left us, and through the narrow 
muddy streets we wended our way, to the extremity of 
the town, which is a mile and a-half in extent, if my 
guide and weary feet may be believed. 

My never-tiring companion conducted me into an 
apartment, which looked more like the end of all human 
hopes than an abode for the living and breathing ; 
and had I been in any other country but Ireland, I 
should have shrunk back, fearing I had entered a den 
of robbers. The grandmother, man and wife, a joyous 
host of ruddy, truly dirty urchins, with pigs, and 
stools, filled the muddy cabin almost to suffocation. 

"And can ye give this lady here a clane bed, and 
it's she that can tell ye she's from New York, and a 
stranger ; and I wouldn't leave her in any dirty hovel 
we'd chance to find." 

The potatoes were now emptied from the pot ; I 
asked for one, always finding this was the best and 
surest avenue to their hearts. One was immediately 
undressed, and put upon the coals. The old grand- 
mother said, " Our beds are all in one room, and may- 
be the lady, bein' a stranger, she wouldn't like to sleep 
with so many; and while she's aitin' the pratee, I'll go 
and seek a lodgin'." 

This was kind, and quite in keeping with all my 
feelings. " And be sure," called out my companion, 
" you get the clane room and bed." 

She returned with good tidings, and I was introduced 
to my new lodgings, a little different from the one I had 
left, but not in the best keeping ; but I was in Con- 
naught, and Connaughtmen were there. In the evening 
I observed the mistress in a separate apartment read^ 
ing, and asked what she had that seemed so to interest 
her. " A good book," was the answer. Knowing they 
were Roman Catholics, I did not think it was a bible ; 

158 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

and when she put it into my hand, saying, ^'Have yon 
read this ?** pointing to the miracle of the loaves and 
fishes, I was happily disappointed. "Will you read 
it P' she asked. I did so, and much more besides, 
while the men who were sitting by seemed deeply 
interested; and one poor Connaughtman, on whom 
nature had not lavished all her gifts, and education had 
not given one specimen of her handywork, was in 
gaping astonishment, and wondered why he had not 
heard the like afore. <' By dad," said he to the land- 
lord, "and why didn't we never hear the like from the 
praist ?" The landlord being one step in advance in 
intelligence, and a little piqued for the reputation of 
the priest, silenced him by saying, " But sure we have, 
and a great dale more." Some five or six chapters had 
been read, when the Connaughtman suddenly enquired, 
"And do ye go to church, ma'am ? I was never in one 
but once," he continued, " and the divil take me if I 
ever get cotcht there again. Oh, musha, had ye been 
lookin' at me there.'' " What was the trouble, sir ?" 

"The life was scar'd out o* me, ma'am, and the heart 
lept up to the mouth." "And tell us what so frighted 

" Why, ma'am, I had heard of the old English church 
in Galway, that it had images and sich like, to be seen, 
and I was goin' by to mass, and see the door open, and 
thought it might be no harum to peep in a little. A 
soldier was at the door, with a soord, and a divil of a 
leg had he under him but critches, and when I had 
but just got behind a post, peepin' at a picture in a 
dark comer, a man in black bobb'd up before me, his tail 
scrapin' the ground behind him, musha me I I can't tell 
how long. I thought it was sartinly the Old Nick, 
and I run here, and I run there, but for the life o' me 
I darrint run back, for the soldier with the soord was 
at the door, and he would strike me, and I could hear 
the black man draggin' his long tail after him. I sees 
the back door open, and made out into the church-^ 
yard, for d' ye see, I'd ruther be with the dead than 
with the Hvin^ and I skulked among the stones till I 


found a place to dodge out, and right glad was I to get 
off with the life in me, and by dad, ye don't find me 
in a church again." 

This simple minded man told this story in all sinoe- 
rity, nor could he be persuaded but that the sexton, 
with his black gown, was the Old Nick sent to frighten 
him for entering the church. 

Nofoemher 1th. — A market day in Connaught, and a 
great curiosity indeed to a stranger ; because not only 
are all sorts of men^ women, and children congregated 
of the lower caste, but there all sorts of people bring 
all sorts of creatures and things with them, in all sorts 
of conveyances. 

I had an opportunity of seeing this peculiar class 
of people in a true light as they are at home, for 
where buying and selling are concerned, you see the 
man in his real character. '<It is nought^ it is nought^ 
says the buyer,** while the seller protests it's the finest 
and choicest in the kingdom ; and report has said that 
a Connaughtman loves money. This being a public 
house where I was lodging, it was common plunder 
for all. Sacks and bags, geese, turkeys, pigs, 
asses, horses, and cows were all brought in, and 
lodged in the kitchen, or carried into the yard, 
while the owner went out to make fresh purchases. 
The landlord was a teetotaller, but the good wcmian, 
more bent on gain, was selling her whiskey without a 
license, and many a glass on that rainy market day 
not only replenished both the tea-canister and snuff- 
box of the seller, but gave a new and a happy zest to 
the wits of the buyer. . One woman had purchased a 
pig, and fearing, as she expressed it, the pig was not 
honest, she was unwilling to pay her money till she 
had kept it a week, to prove its soundness. The man 
wanted his money, and the woman would not give it, 
unless some one would come forward, and testify to 
the honesty of the pig. She appealed to the man of 
the house; he was incorrigible. She insisted, she 
urged, that he should be bail. " That I won't do, 
ma'am, I'll not be bail for the honesty of the pig." 

160 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

"Well, then, the man should let me have it upon trial, 
and Pm as honest a woman as there is in all Galway, 
and that I can show any day." The clamour grew 
louder ; the man was forced to beg pardon for some 
rude words he had used, and the woman, after telling 
him his pardon was granted, left seven shillings till 
the honesty of the pig should be proved, and took her 
pig, and departed. It was said that this was all in- 
trigue on her part, to have the use of her money as 
long as she could. 

Though not a simpleton did I see among the throng, 
yet there was the least semblance of refinement in look 
or manner that I had ever seen in any place whatever. 
Not one did I see that day which could tempt a desire 
for further acquaintance. But the ultimatum of all, 
the " head and front of the offending" was the staring. 
Their incoherent gibbering never stopped, except when 
they suspended aU to stare at me. I can bear a com- 
mon gaze with common patience, and am ready to 
acknowledge that it is natural, and that it is proper to 
desire to look at a foreigner when he passes, and to 
gratify that desire should not be censured. But here 
my case was dreadful, if not awful. I could not get 
out ; the house was thronged. One would be pressing 
his way through the room to the stable, with a horse, 
and pause to take a survey from head to foot. Another 
would be tying up a bag, and suddenly stop, and look 
me full in the face. A third would let her burden 
from her back, minutely examine me, then turn to the 
master or mistress, and in Irish make her conmients. 
In short, if I never was noticed before, this day I was 
a distinguished personage. Scarcely a word of English 
was spoken through the day, and therefore I could 
gather but little, only through my eyes, except by the 
woman and her honest pig. She performed in plain 

When night arrived, all dispersed. My Con naught- 
man, who had entertained me the evening previous, 
again called to beg me when I should be in Galway, to 
go in and see that dreadful church where he had been 

cnAP. IX.] CO. OF GALWAY. 161 

so frightened ; " and should ye see the man in black, 
then ye'll pity me." He insisted, too, that I should 
take him home with me as a servant. "And do 
ye think, Micky, the gentlewoman would have ye 
walkin' by the side of her ?" said the landlord. 

" Oh, no," said Micky, "I would walk behind her, 
if I could only see her country." However remote I 
might find the peasantry from society, however igno- 
rant of books, however cunning, or however simple, 
they all knew something of America, and all were 
hoping some day or other to see it. Their questions 
would often be intelligent on the geography of the 
country, and often they would make serious blunders, 
yet all would be correct in some particulars.* 

The noise of the scripture-reading the preceding 
evening had gone far and wide, and many called in to 
ask the mistress if the kind lady would read again. 
This was unexpected, but gladly did I comply. The 
poor simple men often exclaimed, " W)^J did we never 
hear this?" Paddy, the master of the house, could 
read well, and was somewhat skilled in debate, and the 
Virgin Mary was introduced. I asked him if he 
believed the Testament I had in my hand to be true ? 
He said, " Yes, every word of it." " The last chapter 
in that book says, * whosoever adds to it, God shall add 
all the plagues, etc' Now in all that book not an 
indirect mention is made of any adoration that must 
be made to the Virgin." The wife instantly exclaimed, 
" Now, Pat, what have you to say ? You're sack'd, 
you're sack'd, and I'm glad of it." When any one 
entered to stop a little, she would repeat it, saying, 
" Aw ! you could not answer that, my lad." Though 
she was still in the church, yet she had read and thought 
for herself; and could multitudes of these people be 
taken by the hand, and led out from the machinery 
with which they are surrounded, they would drink in 
with eagerness the Gospel of life. I related to them 

• It is not to introduce America in every page that mention 
is so often made of it, but to show the peasantry. 

162 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

stories from the Bible which they had never heard ; 
yet the story of Calvary was well understood, and they 
made a better application of the scriptures they did 
know, than do many who read them daily. 
^' Friday. — Early I prepared for a walk of eighteen 
miles to Galway. The road was muddy, and there was 
quite an appearance of rain. The kind people did all 
they could do for my comfort, and asked me two-pence 
a night for my lodging. This was the stated price to 
all. I was soon joined by a man and his wife, with a 
car, riding alternately, which made the journey slow, 
and they kindly relieved me of my basket; and I 
walked nine miles with tolerable ease. I was resting 
upon a stone when the post-car arrived, and offered to 
take me to Galway for a shilling. I paid it, light as 
was my purse, and reached the town at two o'clock, 
with half-a-crown. 

This ancient sea-port is celebrated in history for 
many a wonderful tale. It is not an inviting city for 
a stranger, on a muddy day ; the suburbs are wretched 
in the extreme, and not in all Ireland, Bantry excepted, 
can there be found more that is forbidding to the eyes 
of strangers. The fishwomen, which are abundant 
there, are coarse and ugly in their looks, and none in 
all Connaught could exceed them in staring ; and fol- 
low me they would, from street to street, from shop to 

I found a comfortable lodging-house in some re- 
spects, and in some it was uncomfortable ; but knowing 
that slender purses must not put on airs, I went to the 
post-office to ascertain whether a letter were in wait- 
ing, but found none. Sixpence a night for lodging was 
the price, and find my own potatoes. I had five six- 
pences, and with these I must make my way back to 
Kilkenny. I had no fear, for I knew all would be 
right, and so I perambulated the town, and saw what 
I could see, enjoyed what I could enjoy, and then went 
home for the night. 

The next morning I walked to the docks, and would 
not forget to say, that in Galway I never went alone. 


A man or two, and perhaps half-a-dozen women, would 
be in comfortable staring distance ; and this morning, 
dreading the repetition of the yesterday's annoyance, 
I went early, but a Connaughtman was on the spot, 
with pipe and dog ; nor did he leave me, nor did he 
speak to me, nor did he cease staring at me, when the 
position was a favorable one. The docks have been 
built at immense expense, and the unfortunate man 
who pledged himself to do the work died with grief at 
his misfortunes. A few solitary masts were bowing 
gently to the breeze, only mementos of Ireland's dearth 
of commerce. This ancient harbor has been the depot 
of many a bloody vessel, laden with instruments of 
death and carnage, to lay waste the fair isle ; and many 
a startling legend is now related of deeds of darkness 
and of murder, which have ever blotted the fame of 
this bright gem of the sea. 

Overlooking the harbor is the oldest burying-ground 
in Galway, and it is literally crammed with the dead. 
Throughout Ireland, in every large town, there seems 
to be some preeminent burying-place, which has pecu- 
liar virtues, on account of some holy man or men hav- 
ing honored it by their bones ; and there, while living, 
the eye is directed as the most desirable bed in which 
to sleep when dead. The opening through a tumbling 
wall was free, and thither I repaired, with the Con- 
naughtman and dog in pursuit. 

** What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide ?" 

I was really afflicted ; I had chosen this early hour, 
before seven, that I might unmolested enjoy in that 
harbor and churchyard a little reflection, where star- 
ing eyes would not settle on my face, or smoke of 
tobacco penetrate my nose. And like the poor affrighted 
man in the church, I " ran here, and I ran there," and 
dodged behind the tomb-stones, but could not escape ; 
he was there, bending over the top, in full gaze upon 
me ; and could I have spoken Irish, and told who I 
was, and what was my errand, as I had often done, 

164 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

there might have been some hope in my case. I left 
the spot in vexation and despair, and he left it too. 

I would not join in all the ridicule and censure 
which the world has ever been ready to heap on suffer- 
ing Connaught. There is good sense, there is wit, 
there is benevolence, and there is intelligence too. 
Even in many a smoky hut have I sat down, and been 
profited as well as amused, by the knowledge they had 
acquired, and their manner of communicating it. They 
are an inquisitive people. They desire to come at the 
whys and the wherefores ; and if defeated in one way, 
they will resort to another. I was the strangest anom- 
aly that had ever visited them, and as I could not speak 
Irish, what could not be gained by talking must be 
made out in gaping. Let this serve as an apology, 
though it did not lessen my indescribable vexation. 
I was in torment " for a' that." 

On my return, the market people were assembling, 
and my way was so hedged up, that in the fruitless 
effort to make a passage out in the right direction, I 
became so confused that all points of the compass were 
alike ; and my only concern was not to lose the little 
sense remaining in me. Not a creature would budge, 
for they had me in close keeping, and no time should 
be lost in making out " the cratur." At length I was free, 
and begged of a woman, at the door of her house, to 
place me in a right direction. She kindly did so, and 
I returned and seated myself over the turf fire in 
the corner, to fix on some other peregrination ; and re- 
solved to make a call on the Presbyterian clergyman 
located there, having been told by the gentleman of the 
house where I lodged, that he was approachable, and 
knew much of the country. 

I had no letter of introduction, and felt much more 
independent on that account. Knowing that from 
humble poverty he had become somewhat affluent by 
marriage, and lived in aristocratic style, I knew with 
such that the forms of etiquette must be most strictly 
regarded, and was careful that strings and pins should 
all be in their proper place. The walk was a long one, 


the road muddy, and the gibbering of all who pre- 
tended to direct me in the right course so confused me, 
that I was in danger of a return of the morning's mood ; 
but finally the lodge belonging to the clergyman intro- 
duced me to a fine gravel walk leading to the mansion, 
and I was soon knocking at his ministerial door. A 
young interesting girl opened it. I handed her my 
card, requesting it might be given to Mr. F. She did 
so, and soon returned with the card and Mr. F's an- 
swer, " Mr. says he has nothing to give to-day.*** 

Disgust and indignation struggled a moment, and ele- 
vating my voice, so that he might hear, I said, " Say 
to Mr. F. I did not come to ask charity, but a few 
questions, which to me were important.** '* Tell the 
woman she may come in,'* was the prompt reply. The 
woman did go in, and found the man of the pulpit sit- 
ting near a table, with a newspaper as large as a small 
pocket-handkerchief in his hand, a dandy watch-chain 
hanging in dandy manner about his neck, slippers on 
his feet, and dress in like accordance. 

His wife was much older than her spouse, and what 
she lacked in youth and beauty was imperfectly made 
up in frippery. Her dress was a crimson colored 
satin ; a gold watch was glistening at her side, and 
pink ribbons were about her cap, neck, and arms ; but 
to her credit be it said, she was sewing. The fact is 
worth naming, because it was the first time I had seen 
in the country a fashionable lady with plain sewing in 
her hands. As I looked upon the inmates of this well- 
trimmed parlor, and upon the lord especially that 
adorned it, I said, " Can this be a messenger from 
God, to announce to a lost world the gospel of truth ? 

"Lay not careless hands on skulls that cannot 
Teach and will not learn." 

After adjusting himself in speaking attitude, he con- 
descended to say, " I will answer any question respect- 
ing the state of the churches you may ask." He spoke 

* Whether the beggars in Galwa^' carried cards, when they 
solicited alms, I did not learn. 

166 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

of the poor as being in a deplorable state, and the wife 
said my object was certainly a laudable one, and she 
presumed I found the people kind. « So much so," 
was my answer, "that I had sometimes thought it 
would be best to keep them so ; for when a few 
hundreds were added, I had seen them almost entirely 
divested of humanity, if not of common civility." My 
good parson found a loop hole, for he said, "Ah, you 
dont know the poor as well as I do ; they are cunning, 
and all the kindness they show is to get favors." " Not 
so had I found it ;" I could say, " that when they saw 
me weary, and I told them my journey must be has- 
tened because my money was well nigh spent, then 
was the time when they doubled their entreaties to 
detain me, without charges." A few months before 
this, in the cabins of the poor, this man could be found 
reading to them, and kindly administering to their 
wants. He was then poor, and employed as a Bible 
reader, "and now," said the wife of a curate, "he can 
only afford pennies, where he could give shillings at 
that time." It was getting late ; I talked of muddy 
streets, of rain, the difficulty of the way, the many 
hours I had been out — all to no purpose ; his pantry 
would not unlock, nor did a " cup of cold water" greet 
my lips. I left wiser than when I went, and the next 
day heard a sermon from this same man on Christian 
benevolence, expatiating on its importance, and its be- 
nefits to the soul. His congregation was small, and 
part of them were soldiers in military dress, with the 
weapons of death standing by their side. Certainly 
the Christian church has got a very supple kind of 
religion, if these wadike principles can find a shelter 
in it. 

On my return to my lodgings, I saw a company 
of men assembled in a square, and supposed something 
new had gathered them ; but drawing nearer, found it 
was a collection of poor countrymen from distant parts, 
who had come hoping on the morrow to find a little 
work. Each man had his spade, and all were standing 
in a waiting posture, in silence, hungry and weary ; 


for many, I was told, had walked fifteen or twenty 
miles without eating, nor did they expect to eat that 
day. Sixpence a day was all they could get, and they 
could not afford food on the Sabbath, when they could 
not work. Their dress and their desponding looks 
told too well the tale of their sufferings. When I had 
passed them, looking about, one was near me, walking 
slowly, picking a few shreds carelessly in his fingers, 
his countenance such a finished picture of despair, as 
said, << It is done ; I can do no more." I three times 
halted, and paused to speak to him, but could not give 
utterance ; as soon as I met his countenance, hunger, 
wife, children, and despair were so visible, that I 
turned away, and could only say, " Good God ! have 
mercy on poor Ireland." 

When I reached my lodgings, the landlord remarked, 
that every week the poor creatures are coming in from 
the country, and often they stay two days without 
eating, watching and hoping a chance may come ; and 
sleep where they can ; and then most of them go away, 
without getting any work. " Go to now, ye rich men, 
weep and howl." 

My lodgings should not pass entirely unnoticed. In 
all lodging-houses I had found that a single room was 
an extra privilege scarcely to be expected ; and often 
the man, woman, and children would be fixed in the 
same apartment, with one or two transient lodgers, as 
the case might be. This is not so in hotels. In this 
house, the apartments looked tidy ; and I was shown 
to a chamber where were two curtained beds ; one of 
these I was to occupy. Before retiring, the woman 
said, " I shall sleep down stairs, the child is sick, and 
nobody will be in your room but John." " Who is 
John?" I asked. "My old man," was the reply, 
" Your old man I Be assured, madam, I shall be your 
company down here then." " That you dont ; you 
shall have a good bed, and room where you can rest." 
The matter was settled by telling her in plain English 
I would not go into the chamber. As a penance, I 
was put into a confined room, with her mother and 

168 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

sick boy across the foot of my bed, bolstered and 
tucked against the wall, so that there was no danger 
of falling out or off. The poor old mother was dying 
with the asthma, keeping up almost a continued cough, 
and could not lie down ; and when she was not cough- 
ing, her unearthly breathing so frighted me, fearing 
she was in death-agonies, I kept calling, " Woman, 
woman !" (for I did did not know her name.) When 
she was coughing, she could not sleep ; and when she 
slept, I could not wake her. Nothing but the cough 
could do it. Thus two doleful nights I kept my eyes 
waking, not conscious that I slept at all ; the third 
night I slept a little from downright necessity. But 
complaining was out of the question ; there was an 
empty bed, and the wife seemed glad to punish me for 
casting contempt on as good and as quiet a man as 
there was in all Galway. 

Monday, at two o'clock, finding my letters had not 
not arrived, and that three nights had made quite an 
inroad into my half-crown, I saw that a walk to Ur- 
lingford was the only alternative. The kind woman 
urged me to stay another night, and when I told her 
my money was nearly spent, she invited me to stop free 
from charge ; I did not, and the mud and clay made 
me almost regret that I had refused. 

A young student from Dublin, who was lodging in 
the same house, accompanied me two miles out of the 
dreadful suburbs of that city, which for filth and 
wretchedness exceeded all I had seen. I could do no 
more than look in, for an attempt to wade through 
would be next to perilous. When the young man re- 
turned me my basket, and said, " You will reach Oran- 
more by dark, if you hasten (a distance of about two 
miles and a half), and possibly I may see you in Dub- 
liif," I had no alternative but to nerve myself for 
what was before me. Oranmore I had never seen ; 
I might not reach it till dark ; and then a lodging ! 
this was the most to be dreaded of all. On I went, 
sometimes leaving a shoe in the clay, and never find- 
ing a dry spot for my feet, till at sunset the little town 


was reached. Two applications for lodgings were re- 
fused, both full ; the third one received me. But when 
I asked, "Will you give me a clean bed?" "I had rather 
have two men than one woman," was the answer ; '*two 
men will sleep together, and make no fuss; but women 
are always finding fault." 

" True," I said, " we always find it so in New York." 

" New York ! have you lived in New York ? I too 
was there six years, and wish I was back again ; but 
my husband was homesick, and would not stay." 
Every thing was now reversed ; she thanked God for 
bringing me, telling me I might stay in welcome as 
long as I would. She took me into a snug room, and 
said, " See ! I keep my beds as they do in New York, 
make them up nicely, and leave off the sheets till a 
lodger comes, and then give him coarse or fine, flannel 
or linen, as he may choose, and you may have which 
you like." This was turning the picture indeed. 
Pat came in, and made me as welcome ; and we talked 
of New York to our hearts' content. " I was a fool," 
said Pat, " that I came away." 

She lived with a clergyman's family, though she 
was married before leaving Ireland, and Pat was 
employed elsewhere. They had not been idle nor im- 
provident, but saved considerable, and returned to 
spend it in their own country. They kept a shop and 
lodgers, and had many little comforts which are not 
common in Ireland. This was truly a pleasant even- 
ing to me, and the next day rain kept me there, much 
apparently to the gratification of the kind creature. 
I told her what a fearful purse I carried ; " and Td not 
empty it of a farthing, if you had a million." 

Reader, wonder not that I love the peasantry of Ire- 
land. Imagine yourself in my real condition and state 
of mind when I entered that house, and then meet the 
same kind, unmeiuted, unexpected reception from those 
for whom you had done nothing, and feel yourself 
changed into a friend, instead of a stranger and a 
lodger. We talked and rend till a late hour, and then 
I slept undisturbed. 

170 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

The reader may be told, if he never heard it whis- 
pered, that the Irish as a people have a quantum of 
leisure on their hands. The cabin housewife has done 
her morning's toil, when the potato is eaten and the 
pigs and fowl have been fed ; no making of bread, no 
scouring of brass and silver, no scrubbing of floors, 
or cleaning of paint, makes her toil heavy ; and in a few 
weeks' travel I found that, when I stopped in a village 
for the night, and wished to make the most of my 
visit, nothing was necessary but to call at some cabin, 
tell them I was an American, and had come to see 
the poor, and ask them to direct me to a good lodging 
house. This was electricity itself ; all and everything 
that could be done would be, and by the time the 
lodging house was found, the fame had reached through 
the little hamlet, and a levee was on the spot in a few 
minutes. So in Oranmore ; but the good woman of 
the house, putting on some of her American notions 
of propriety, insisted that I should not be " gaped to 
death," and often told them in sober earnest, that they 
must keep away, unless they had some business to the 
shop. All was unavailing. Night and day they were 
squatting about me, admiring my comely dress and 
comely hair, telling me that my face was young, and 
many a good day was before me yet ; and seldom did 
they leave, till they made me both young and beau- 
tiful, with the best of all appendages added, a heavy 
purse of money. Here I talked and here I listened, 
here I read and they listened, and the little village, 
of Oranmore will always be held in pleasant remem- 

But, kind readers, no bliss is perfect, and here in 
this happy group was one which, when I looked and 
while I write, was and is an object of painful, pitiful, 
and ludicrous contemplation. It was a mountain Con- 
nemara girl. I found that the district of Connemara, 
through all Ireland, was considered as a distinct item 
altogether. This people are pointed out to strangers 
as the Americans would point you to the wildest tribes 
of their Indians. Here is one before us, and though 


faintlj described, jet what is drawn is as near the 
thing itself as my skill at pencilling can make it. She 
was in this lodging house to take the charge of a sick 
boy who had come there for a season. She was dressed 
in red flannel, the costume of all the mountain pea- 
santry of that country, and this color, they tell you, is 
chosen to keep away the fairies. Leaving the dress, 
we will look at the person. She was tall, thick-set, 
had broad shoulders, high cheek bones, small eyes, and 
near together ; black coarse hair, cut square upon a 
low forehead, and body and limbs of huge dimensions. 
Two broadly-spread feet, which had never been cramped 
by cloth or leather, told you that they had braved every 
hardship incident to feet in any clime or nation. These 
pedestals were surmounted by two pillars, which 
wanted neither strength or size ; and when she moved, 
it was always with a grace peculiar to herself, and 
when she sat down, it was always upon the floor. This 
flannel dress was cut after the same model of all her 
countrywomen's, being a jacket pinned closely about 
her ; a petticoat not so long by some twelve inches as 
modem custom sanctions ; and beside it had undergone 
great changes since it left the loom, for wear and tear 
had fringed and frilled it, and though it legally be- 
longed to the jacket, yet its binding w^as reaching up 
two inches below it. Thus, cap-a-pie, dress and sym- 
metry, she made out such a figure as the tenderest 
heart might encounter without fear of being broken. 

She had another qualification, viz. that of singing ; 
this was always performed in Irish, and with tones 
and gestures which made every auditor feel to the 
bottom of his soul. I had often heard her, and one 
day had a curiosity to look into the kitchen where she 
was at work, to see her unperceived when singing ; and 
imprudently laughed, not in ridicule, but because it 
was wholly unavoidable ; she heard, and would never 
sing again. No apologies on my part, and no entrea- 
ties of the mistress could ever prevail. 

" She dispraises me," was the answer. She would 
never eat, but sitting upon the floor, with both elbows 

I 2 

172 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. ix. 

upon her knees, and the potato between both hands, 
taking the "bit," without putting the potato down, 
gnawing it until all was finished ; then she would take 
the " sup," and raise another potato to her lips, and 
go on. 

I could never look on this strange excrescence 
without wonder, and asking on what commission could 
she have been sent into a world like this. But I 
should do great injustice, yes, I should sin, should I 
leave the picture here. I should be holding up to ridi- 
cule a being of God, who may have more favor in his 
eyes than the writer ; and though this is not a carica- 
ture but a true picture, yet there is another side to it, 
and I would be guilty, like Ananias, of keeping back a 
part of the price, should I not show it. 

Ireland, above all nations of the earth, has suffered 
most in her character by the ignorant and too often 
malicious injustice of writers, who were either awed 
by the opinion of others, or incapable of discrimination 
themselves. They have caught her fairy tales, they 
have gathered up her blunders, they have poetically 
told of her " gems of the mountains and pearls of the 
ocean," they have laughed at her tatters ; but who has 
lifted these tatters, and shown to the world that under 
them is buried every noble principle that could ele- 
vate a people? Yes, the poor cringing labourer, 
touching his hat to the haughty lord, who never looked 
manfully in the face of him he served, has a soul burn- 
ing within him capable of all that is praiseworthy, of 
all that is godlike. And would justice be allowed to 
lift lier voice in his behalf, that soul would look out, 
and speak, " I, too, am a man." Yes, the poor Irish- 
man has a mind that can and that does think ; but, 
like the American slave, he is told by his master, and 
he is told by all the world, "You do the working, and 
I'll do the thinking." 

I must return to my Connemara woman, and say she 
possessed the greatest kindness of heart, and felt the 
least attention given to her as the highest favor. She 
was unobtrusive, and shrunk from the least rebuke 

CHAP. X.] ' CO. OF GALWAY. 173 

in look or word, though without the least appearance 
of anger. She would watch to do some little favor to 
the mistress or to me, and to do it in the most quiet 
and unassuming manner. When I left, and offered 
her my hand, she hesitated, looked at the mistress, then 
at me, and from a kind of wild smile she settled into 
a seriousness that seemed to say, that she thought her- 
self an outcast, unworthy the notice of any. Her every 
look and action indicated that she felt she was an exile 
from all the world, and must ever remain so. She was 
faithful and trustworthy to the last degree, and had 
she been born on any mountain but a Connemara one, 
she might have escaped the imputation of being the 
ugliest and most awkward woman in Ireland. 


Walk to Loughrea — Thoughts of Home — A New Day A 

Fellow Traveller— Cabin Theology— Such a Bed!— Eyre- 
Court — Hearty Welcome in Banagher — An Anxious Mother 
— A Noble-Hearted Daughter— Incursion of a Troop of 
Connaughtmen into an Ian, and how they behaved them- 
selves — Visit to Mr. S. — Rejection — Christian Kindness of 
Poor Mary and her Brother. 

The time to go arrived, and at ten o'clock the sun 
looked out, and I promised my urgent friend, should 
the clayey road be impassable, I would return and 
spend another night ; and though for four Irish miles I 
was literally sticking in clay, I kept on, hoping the 
road would improve, and stopping when I could walk 
no longer, and feeling I must not and could not go 
back ; and at last a man with a team overtook me, say- 
ing, " God save ye kindly, lady, and the mountain is a 
long one, and wUl ye put the basket on the load ?" He 
kept my company for some miles, and then stopped to 
feed his horses, and gave me my basket ; which, to my 
weary feet, already blistered, seemed to be almost an 
insupportable clog, and much more so, as night was 

174 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. x. 

gathering, the mountains were wild and barren, the 
cabins, like angels' visits, 

** Few and far between." 

And five miles long and dreary I walked, and met not 
a living moving being, nor could I find a stone or stick 
where I could sit down, and stand still or walk on I 
must. I wished to reach Loughrea if possible, and 
hurried on till my strength gave way ; a welcome stone 
by the side of a wall met my eye ; I sat down, leaning 
my back against the wall, and looked across the Atlan- 
tic. I there saw cheerful fires lighted ; I saw friends 
gathered around them ; I heard them say, << I wish I 
could see what Mrs. N. is doing to-night. By this 
time she believes we told her the truth, when we ad- 
vised her to stay at home, and keep out of difficulties 
which she must unavoidably meet in a land of ignorant, 
reckless strangers. Pity she could not find Irish 
enough in New York to keep her busy, without going 
to that land of darkness. Well I she always would have 
her own way, and she must abide the consequence." I 
saw too my own once happy parlor lighted, and the 
books gathered for the evening : and did I wish to draw 
around the table, and participate in the enjoyment? 
I did not No, I did not. Should I sleep the sleep of 
death, with my head pillowed against this wall, no 
matter. Let the passer-by inscribe my epitaph upon 
this stone, fanatie^ what then ? It shall only be a 
memento that one in a foreign land loved and pitied 
Ireland, and did what she could to seek out its con- 

It was now dark. A heavy fog and mist were 
gathering fast, and I could scarcely discern the earth 
from the sky. A man passed. " Will you tell me, sir, 
how far it is to Loughrea ?" " Two miles and a half." 
" Then I must stop by this wall for the night. I can 
not go further." "Not a word of lyin'," was my 
only consolation from the man, and he passed on. I 
arose^ and made an effort to walk. Another man 


passed. The same interrogation was now answered 
by, *' A mile and a quarter," This was gaining rapidly 
without walking a yard, and passing on a little, I made 
the same inquiry, and was answered, << A short mile, 
ma'am." I was confused, and knew not whom to believe ; 
but was so willing to be deceived, that by limping and 
halting* wading, and inquiring of all I met, I at last 
reached the twinkling lights of the suburbs of the 

The kind voice of the woman where I lodged on the ' 
journey down, was music to my ear, and Pat was 
called to participate in the joy. "And what shall 
we do for ye, the cratur !" A long box was in the 
room. I flung myself upon it, and for an hour, amidst 
the repeated questions, " What shall we do, and what 
can ye ate? Ye'r destroyed, and the heart's gone 
out o' ye," I kept my position, really fearing it was 
over with me, and my walking was ended. I had 
walked eighteen Irish miles, in clay, and over tedious 
mountains, since ten o'clock. My situation was not the 
most flattering. I was among a people, though kind, 
who could not appreciate the object of my visit to Ire- 
land. They were poor, and needed every penny which 
belonged to them. I was a stranger, and had been 
accustomed to better accommodations than they could 
afford, had been disappointed in getting my money, 
and could not reward them for extra attentions. The 
lumbago, which for many months had made me a crip- 
ple in New York, now threatened a visit, and the sum 
total was not the most pleasant. Did I despond ? No ! 
my philosophy and my religion (if I had any) came to 
my aid ; and the question, Of what use is your religion, 
if it will not sustain you in time of need ? brought me 
to my feet. In the passing of this hour on the box, I 
was not alone. The intelligence had reached many a 
cabin, that the " plain-discoorsed and the beautiful 
reader" had returned, and they hastened to bid her 
welcome. Seeing me in this dilemma, the rejoicing 
was turned to mourning, and the " cup of tay, the cup 
of tay, was all that could refresh her, the cratur." I 

176 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. x. 

took a cup of cocoa, bathed my feet, and reluctantly 
said good night, being too much fatigued to read to 
them. But I gave them my hand, and from my heart 
did I pray that God would emancipate poor neglected 
Con naught. 

My bed-room and appurtenances were not in the 
most tempting fix. A dirty chaff bed, with a pile of 
potatoes at the head of it, and the servant across the 
loot, said, " Here you are." I passively committed my- 
self to the care of Him whose aid I certainly needed, 
and whose watchfulness, I felt, had ever been my only 

I slept, awoke, and was greatly refreshed; and 
though I had taken but a few ounces of food since 
nine the previous day, I felt not the want of any. 
The weather had changed a little for the better, and 
at eleven o'clock I took my last shilling, paid my fare, 
and with blessing upon blessing on my head from the 
family and cabiners, I left the muddy, miserable looking 
town of Loughrea, escorted by no insignificant number 
to set me right. 

** Rare are solitary woes ; they love a train, 
They tread each other's heels." 

The pleasant change now turned to a heavy cold mist, 
and a strong wind was blowing full in my face. The 
road was a complete bed of clay, but how could I go 
back, and how could I stay there? Tte way was quite 
lonely. Now and then a solitary cabin, with its duck- 
pond and manure-heap in front, hung out the sad in- 
signias of desolation and filth within. I sat down upon 
a stone — ^yes, a stone. Ah ! how many times have 1 
in Ireland realised the literal import of " The shadow 
of a great rock in a weary land." My basket was 
heavy to my weary feet, when suddenly stood before 
me a clean barefooted woman, with neither bonnet, 
shawl, or cloak, saying, " God save ye kindly, lady ; 
ye look wairy. Shall I take your basket a bit ?" 

O that sweet voice! I shall never forget it. Sorrow 
had mellowed it, for she had passed lately under the 


merciless hand of oppression. " And how far may ye 
be walkin' ? I am on this way a bit, and will Jighten 
the burden of your feet a little. I'm sorry to see so 
dacent a body walkin*. The likes of me are us'd to it." 
I felt interested to know her history, and enquired if 
she had a family. " No, thanks be to God, they're all 
dead but one little gal, and if Almighty God will 
spare her to me, it's all I'll ask of him." " Have you 
a house ?" " No, praise God, when my husband died, 
the landlord hunted me from the cabin the night he 
was put in the ground." '* And where did you find a 
shelter?" ."Praise God, a poor widow, seeing my dis- 
tress, took me in, and I get my bit as I can. The 
child is sick, and I've been to Loughrea this mornin' 
for a little medicine, and a morsel didn't cross my lips 
since yesterday." We were then seven miles from 
Loughrea, making fourteen that this barefooted, cloak* 
less woman had walked, and it was now nearly three 

Two miles we walked and talked together, and many 
a judicious hint did I gather, many a little unmeaning 
disclosure of the sufferings of the poor by the oppres- 
sion of their masters, and many a fulfilment of the 
promise of God to the widow, in the unexpected helps 
she received when desponding. We reached the muddy 
lane that led to the cabin, she returned me the basket, 
and for the first time since in Ireland I felt a rising 
murmur that I could not wipe the tear from the eye 
of the widow, by giving this one what would have been 
a little token of my kind feelings, and made her at least 
a comfortable breakfast. " I would not take it from a 
lone stranger like you," was the answer, when I told her 
my condition. How many hearts like these are aching 
in Ireland, and how unheeded do their sorrows fall on 
the public ear ! 

Alone I hurried on over the solitary way, the most 
desolate of any I had travelled. There seemed to be 
nothing on which man or beast could comfortably 
subsist ; and no shop, where a mouthful of bread could 
be procured, greeted my eye. I had taken but a half- 

I 3 

178 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. x. 

penny roll in the morning, and began to desire a little 
food. Night came on, and unexpectedly I found myself 
in a muddy little village, and enquired for lodgings; 
was refused at first by two, and almost despaired ; but 
a little girl introduced me to a house, which, if it had 
no comforts, had yet some novelties, and I had an 
interesting evening with the most ignorant people I 
had met, yet not deficient in Irish cleverness. The 
woman said she had no place but one, and that was 
filled with oats, which had not been threshed, but two 
very genteel ladies lodged there the preceding night. 
Qats are certainly dean dirt, and if genteel ladies had 
slept there, I assured the good woman I would not be 
squeamish, if she would give me a clean bed. But, 
kind readers, your eyes never saw that bed ! Now all 
preliminaries were settled, and my "dacent clothes and 
proper discoorse" told that I had been well bred and 
bom, and must have " a great dale of money in my 
purse." I then had just nine-pence, and was fifty miles 
from my place of destination. 

The potatoes were boiling, and when poured upon 
the table, the mistress selected three of the finest and 
fairest, and fiung them into my lap. This was the 
thing needed, for 1 had concluded to go to bed supper- 
less, as I could do better without eating than sleeping. 
A neighbouring woman was called in, and when she 
found that I was " so high bom, that my accent was 
so plain, and that I could discoorse so beautifully," 
she was delighted. Pausing a moment, she abruptly 
said, *' And do ye give in to the Blessed Vairgin ?" 

« Aw r said the other, "what's the use in talkin'? you 
can't confete with her." [1 leave the reader, if he have 
an Irish dictionary, to interpret the technicals of the 
language.] Answering her, that I believed the Virgin 
was a good woman, and that she is now in heaven, 
but the Bible had never told me to worship her. 
« The Bible, the Bible ! the Church says so, and that's 

"But God says, < whoever adds to that book, he 
will add unto him all the plagues written therein," &c. 


" There ! there I I told ye so — I told ye, ye couldn't 
confete with her." Pat now entered, and hearing 
of my heresy, " Ye're wrong — ye're wrong." " There 
now, ye've got your match in Pat," answered the 
exulting wife, Pat told me that, " whatever I might 
plase to ask of the blessed Yairgin, if I asked in 
sincerity, I should be sure to have it, for she had more 
power in heaven than every saint there." 

I begged the talented Pat, if he had nothing to do 
but ask any favour and it would be granted, to apply 
immediately, and have her remove them out of their 
poverty and filth, and give them their rights as a 

"There — there, Pat, ye may stop your discoorse. 
There now, ye can't confete with her, and I told ye so 
in the beginnin'." 

** And did ye say ye don*t drink the tay ? Ye're the 
first dacent woman that's born and bred among dacent 
people that don't do that."* 

" Aw r answered the visiting woman, " there's no 
use in talkin'. She hasn't got sinse ; that I see afore, 
poor thing ! she'd never left so fine a country to be 
walkin' in this, if she'd the right sinse. Aw I she's 

I certainly admired the result of the kind woman's 
observation, and told her hundreds in Ireland, of better 
learning than she, had thought the same. " Give her 
the bed, the thing 1" she said to the mistress as she went 
out ; " she's wairy." 

Now what could have been better ? These ignorant, 
knowing people, when they had come to the conclusion 
of my lack of sense, or aberration of mind, took no 
advantage, but used more lenity ; for though I had 
spoken lightly, as they thought, of the Blessed Virgin, 
and dishonoured their holy faith, yet they imputed 

* Tea drinking is a mania in Ireland. This woman boiled 
some in a pint cup, and supped it with her potato without 
milk or sugar. 

180 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap x. 

this to " a lack of sinse," of which my rejection of the 
taj and laivin' my fine country were abundant proofs. 

The room was now shown me. The pile of straw, 
which reached nearly to the upper floor, so filled the 
})assage to the bed, that I made my way with some 
difficulty, and the first fair and full glance of the bed - 
ding, by the light of a candle, so filled my eyes, that I 
extinguished the light instantly. I knew a second 
look would keep me out of it, and rest I much needed. 

And here I gave some proof of the truth of the 
woman's assertion, that I " had not the sinse," for why 
did I not lie down upon the clean straw ? I spread a 
pocket-handkerchief upon the bolster, and managed 
as well as I could to forget where I was, and what 
might be about me. 

The morning dawned ; I heard a great pushing at a 
back-door, which led from my room to the yard. 

** The door wide open flew." 

In walked a majestic pig, weighing three hundred, and 
moving towards my bed, elevated his nose, and gave 
me a hearty salute. I said " Good morning, sir," and 
he turned to the oaten straw and made himself busy, 
till the mistress entered, and I asked her if she would 
do me the favour to lead out my companion. She 
heeded it not, but walked away. In a few moments 
she returned, and a little more entreatingly I said, 
" Madam, will you be so good as to take out this pig?" 
She was angry at my repeated solicitations, but finally 
took away the domestic with her into the kitchen, with 
a mutter, " what harrum ?" and violently shut the 
door. Seven times was the door from the kitchen 
opened, admitting to my apartment either the master 
or mistress, before I had an opportunity of making my 

The room had neither window nor crack, but my 
sense of feeling had become so acute, that I managed 
very well without seeing, and made my ingress to 
the kitchen, and asked for my bill. Two-pence for 


three potatoes and a night's lodging. I paid it cheer- 
fully, which left me seven-pence ; and bidding good 
morning to the mistress, who manifested quite a shyness, 
I hurried out, for she evidently thought me " wild," and 
wished me away. 

After walking four miles on a tolerable road, I 
bought a halfpenny roll, and hurried on quite happily 
with sixpence and a halfpenny, which would buy me 
another roll on the morrow for my breakfast. This 
was not the most sumptuous fare, but it was so sweet- 
ened with the pure breath of heaven that was fanning 
my lungs, the sun shone so pleasantly, the lark sung 
so sweetly, and the poor peasants spoke so kindly, that 
I actually felt that I should never be happier this side 
the gates of the heavenly city. I could not think of a 
single thing needed but what was in my possession. I 
was not hungry, I was not naked, I did not wish a 
carriage ; and I felt that all earth, air, and skies were 
mine. I had suffered hardships that few in my condi- 
tion could have endured ; but I was receiving the 
legacy that was left me eighteen hundred years ago, 
that, through much tribulation, all who will follow 
Christ must enter the kingdom. I was happy, I knew 
in whom I trusted, and heartily did I say, " What lack 
I yet ?" 

I reached a beautiful little place called Eyrecourt, 
toasted my piece of bread, and went on at two o'clock 
to walk five miles to Banagher. The road was quite 
muddy, and my feet were now blistered. I was obliged 
to wear coarse shoes, and my feet, nev^r having been 
accustomed to them, were tender. Darkness overtook 
me, and the way became quite difficult. I enquired of 
all I met the distance to the bridge, and the distance 
to the town ; and the way lengthened in proportion as 
I passed on, till I found myself upon the bridge ; and 
meeting a woman, she led me to a lodging-house, which 
she assured me was as *' clane and dacent as I could 
find in a day's walk." 

This lodging-house in Banagher has associations 
which will live in grateful remembrance while memory 

182 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. x. 

lasts. Did they say, when I entered wet and weary, 
(for I had walked for hours in a heavy rain) did they 
say, <* Who is this strange woman, at this late hour 
asking for lodgings ; she must be mad ?' but " Come 
in, come in, ye're wet and wairy. How far have ye 
walked in the stawrm? Come into the kitchen and dry 
yer clothes, and ye must be a stranger, and we'll get 
ye the cup of tay ; ye must be hungry .** All this was 
said and more, before I had told them who I was, and 
what brought me there. When this was known, if 
possible the kindness was redoubled. I told them I 
had but sixpence-halfpenny in my purse, and could 
only get a night's lodging and two or three potatoes. 
" And that you will get; and a week's lodgin' in welcome. 
Not a hap'orth of them two crippled feet shall go out 
of my house till they're hailed," answered the man. 
The servant was called to fetch water to bathe my feet, 
" and we'll do what we can for ye, the cratur I" And 
faithfully did they perform their promise ; they were 
kind to a fault. They were Catholics, but they listened 
to the Word of Life with the most profound attention, 
and without any opposition. They told their neigh- 
bours they fully believed I was inspired of God to 
come to Ireland, and do them good. What was this 
good ? Certainly not money, and this they well knew. 

They gathered about me in the evening in crowds ; 
and when I had read two hours, such a breathless silence 
was in the room, that I looked about to ascertain whe- 
ther all who were behind me had not left it, when I 
saw the place was filled to crowding, sitting upon the 
floor ; and so quietly had they entered that I knew it 
not. Till one o'clock I read, a peasant woman, sitting 
at my feet, holding a candle ; and when I said, " you 
must be tired," " And that I ain't, the long night 
wouldn't tire me, to be listenin' to ye." 

" Ain't she a Protestant ?" an old man whispered. 
*' She's a Christian sent here to discoorse us, and do 
ye think the like of her would crass the ocean to see 
the poor, and discoorse 'em as she does, if God hadn't 
sent her?" The old man seemed satisfied, and the 


point was settled hj " Aw ! there's no nse in tawkin*. 
The like of her couldn't be found in all Ireland." This 
last was said audibly, while I was turning the leaves 
of mj book for a new chapter. 

Among this group was a peculiarly interesting wo- 
man of forty-five, who had been the mother of twelve 
children. Six of them, she said, had "gone innocently 
to heaven." She was endowed with good talents, had 
been well bred, and was quite engaging in her manner. 
But the desire she manifested for her children, their 
education, and their eternal good, almost exceeded 
belief. She raised her hands, her full grey eyes glis- 
tening with tears, and said, " Can you, will you tell 
me how I can get to your country, where I can place 
my children under a good and virtuous influence, and 
where they will be taught the way to heaven as they 
should be ? We are here in darkness, darkness ! Our 
clergy are good for nothing ; they go to the altar, and 
say mass, but they preach no sermons. They give no 
other instructions, and who is any better ? We have 
schools, where they learn more that is bad than is 
good. I go to bed at night, and I pray, pray. I wake 
up, and do the same, and here I am. Will you talk to 
my husband, and tell him what privileges you have in 
America. I can do nothing with him ; he does not feel 
the accountability of training the children, as I do, and 
could I persuade him to go from this dreadful place, I 
would work night and day, not for myself, but for my 
children." I heard her through, and said, " You say 
you are all in darkness, and I say to you, Christ and 
his word can give you light. Believe me, you must read 
the Bible ; your children must read the Bible ; or they 
never can reach those high attainments which you so 
greatly desire. There is a science in that Book of 
books that can be found no where else, and this science 
cannot be taught except by the Holy Spirit." " Is it 
so?" she eagerly said. " Have you a Bible?" I en- 
quired. '*No; we have never had one." The mis- 
tress then remarked, "There are but two Catholic 
families in all Banagher that have a Bible." " WeU you 

184 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. x. 

may be in darkness, if jou have not the chart that God 
has given to guide you to heaven." The company now 
dispersed, when she entreated again. << Do say what 
you can to my husband. He may listen to you." 
" That woman," said one, when she had gone^ " has 
always been goin' on in this way. Her children, she 
says, are goin' wrong, and her husband cares nothin' 
about it." 

A little clean, curly-headed girl called the next day, 
the youngest of this doating, anxious mother, and led 
me round the corner to show me her home. 

" Welcome," said the mother ; " you find me in this 
dirty cabin, where the pig and the shoemaker's bench 
are always with me. I five in wretchedness : I was 
not so rair'd. But my husband will have it so ; he is 
a passionate man ; but it was a runaway match ; and 
though he often beats me, yet I am fond of him still. 
Forgive me for making so free with a stranger, but 
these dear, dear children ; my heart is burning up ; it 
is scalded for them, and I cannot get rid of it. We 
are not poor, though we live here in this humble cabin 
with pigs. I can spin, weave, and make all kinds of 
cloth." She then went up a ladder, and brought down 
two nice specimens of worsted and flannel cloths, 
which she had manufactured. " And could any such 
work as this do any good in America for my children ? 
I believe," she added, " Almighty God has put this in 
my heart, and what shall I do at the day of judgment 
when I meet my children ?" I listened to this woman 
with the full conviction that the Spirit of God had 
enlightened her, and would yet bring her further out 
of darkness into his marvellous light. 

I went to church, and found a small congregation ; 
but so engrossed was my mind with the sermon I had 
heard from the woman, that I was but little improved 
by what I heard there. 

The evening introduced me to a family, where I 
was invited by the father to see a daughter of seventeen 
years of age, who had three weeks before had a leg 
amputated. She was sitting upon the bed, and looked 


to me uncommonly interesting. She was handsome, 
becomingly dressed, and received me with a dignified 
cheerfulness that would have suited maturer age and 
higher education. She was mistress of the tidy cabin ; 
her mother was dead, and she was the eldest of a pretty 
group of cleanly dressed children, who looked to her 
as their guide. When I spoke of her misfortune, she 
cheerfully answered, " I must submit to what the Al- 
mighty puts on me." I went away, and was told more 
fully the cause of this sad misfortune, of which no men- 
tion was made by the family. 

The father had a mill of some kind, and was in the 
habit of taking his dinner in it. This daughter had 
prepared it, and carried it to the mill ; but it was later 
than the usual hour. The father was angry at the 
delay, and lifted his hand to strike the faithful child. 
She, to avoid the blow, stepped aside ; her dress caught 
in the wheel, and her leg was torn nearly off. This 
family discipline needs no comment. The cheerful 
girl, it is said, has never been heard to reproach the 

"When I returned from this cabin, a new era opened. 
A company of Connaughtmen, in rags and dirt, re- 
turning from their potato digging in the county of 
Kilkenny, had turned in hither for the night. They 
wanted a pot of potatoes ; they wanted them cheap, 
and they wanted them in "good speed." All this 
could not be aecomplished without some bustle, and 
the good man offered the potatoes for two pence half- 
penny a stone. That, they, in plain language, declared 
they would not pay. This took some time to settle, and 
ended by their going out and purchasing the article 
elsewhere. This adjusted, then came the lodging. 
They must be up at two, to pursue their journey; 
they must lodge in one room ; and this room must be 
the one occupied by me, as no other was of sufficient 
length and breadth. I cheerfully relinquished all 
claim, as I was but a guest, and the floor was spread 
with et ceteras for the lodgers to lie down. The cla- 
mour and clatter which commenced and continued were 

186 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. x. 

somewhat peculiar to themselves. I had quietly put 
my Polka coat upon a chair in the kitchen for a pillow, 
and with a second chair managed to make myself a 
bed ; and as this bed, like the other, was gratis, I had 
no right to complain. The peat fire was dimly burn- 
ing at twelve o'clock, when the master came in, and 
hearing the tumultuous jabbering, and feeling the 
house to be shaking to the centre, he ran up stairs, 
telling them to be off, every blackguard of 'em, as it 
was two o'clock, and not a minute more should they stop 
in his house, disgracin' the divil himself. They declared 
they had paid for lodging till two o'clock, and they had 
not slept a ha'porth. He drove them up, and they 
tumbled down stairs to the kitchen. I had placed 
myself in an upright position, and was in a corner. 
They, as if by consent, all stopped short in a semicircle 
about me, and in perfect silence surveyQd me atten- 
tively, and my condition for a few moments was not 
an enviable one. 

There were nine of these nondescripts, not one of 
them with a whole garment or a clean face, standing in 
array. The room was nearly dark, and the master not 
in it. I seriously thought of my sixpence-halfpenny, 
but before having time to offer it, the good man of the 
house entered, and poured them out of the house at 
once. They had the kindness to give the man a timely 
caution when they were on his steps, for they told him 
seriously that the stranger in his house was a man in 
disguise, and that he had come to do some great mis- 
chief in the country, and they had not a hap'orth of a 
doubt but that he had hapes of sovereigns. He added, 
^' Some of the blackguards would not hesitate to take 
your life, should they meet you alone." 

These men certainly are distinct in their appearance 
from the provinces of Ulster, Munster, or Leinster. 
Yet I should not feel authorised to say that they are 
more malicious or dangerous than their neighbours. 
They are more coarse in appearance and manners ; but 
they do not lack either shrewdness or hospitality. In 
justice I must say, I have experienced more real kind- 


ness from these people, than from many of more refined 
education and fashionable appendages. 

Eeader, if jou are prone to be incredulous ; if you 
are but a nominal Christian ; if you know not how to 
believe in God without doubting ; if you cannot trust 
him with your body as well as your soul ; if you are not 
willing to deny yourself, and never have done it, and 
if you do not believe in " particular providences," in 
particular exigencies, you may as well lay down this 
book, — at least pass over a few succeeding days, for 
they will appear like fairy tales, and the teller of them 
as a silly if not wicked impostor. 

Monday, — These Banagher friends wished me " God 
speed," without taking a farthing, and told me their 
house should be welcome as long as I would stay. 
Others in the town did the same; but the time had 
come; new things were before me, and these new 
things I must meet. 

In a few hours I found myself in Birr, dining with 
Mr. Walsh, and he insisted that I should go that even- 
ing to visit the good Mr. S. at whose castle I was so 
kindly entertained by his housekeeper, and should find 
him there, as he had just left Birr, with a lady in his 
carriage for his home. "In him," he added, **you 
will see the Christian in a new and striking light. Go, 
I beg you ; it will refresh you on your journey, and 
you wiU have it to say, when you return to your coun* 
try, that in Ireland you found one rich man who lived 
wholly to God, and to serve his fellow-creatures." I 
went. At the lodge I was told he had left for Rath- 
more, where he had another castle, and, added the 
good woman, " It is but five miles. The road is good, 
you are quick on the fut, and it would be well nigh 
worth a voyage across the Atlantic, to hear the lady 
who is in his house discoorse on the subject of reli- 

It was now sun-set, and clouds were gathering. I 
hesitated, ** Go, in the name of the Lord, and he will 
receive you kindly," and setting me on the path, she bid 
me " God speed." Darkness, rain, and tempest soon 

188 KING'S COUNTY. [chap x. 

overtook me ; the way was quite dreary, and I much 
feared I should lose my path, and I felt that the errand 
was quite an uncertain one. It waa a sad night; a 
small parasol was a miserable defence against the furi- 
0U8 wind and pelting rain ; and yet I felt more com- 
posed and less shrinking than I do now, while writing 
it. I had not the least anxiety. I neither knew nor 
cared what was before me. I saw a faint light in a 
cabin-window, some perches from the road, and felt 
my way to it, and inquired the distance to the castle. 
" A short half mile ; but ye'U be destroyed in the 
staurm. Ye had better stop a bit." Telling them I 
must go on, they stood in the cabin-door till I had 
reached the path, and as well as I could, I made my 
way forward. 

The darkness was so total, that a beast could not be 
distinguished from a man on the path, and in a few 
moments I heard walking behind me. I turned about, 
but could not tell what it was. " The staurm is heavy 
and the night dark on ye, and Til show ye to the 
castle." This was a young man from the cabin I had 
just left. I thanked him sincerely, and said, " It is a 
great blessing to have so good a landlord as Mr. S. 
one who gives so much to the poor." " A divil of a 
hap'orth will he give, only to sich as are of his reli- 
gion," " I have heard he often puts his hand into his 
pocket, and hands a poor man a pound he may meet on 
the way." " And I hope ye'll meet the pounds when 
ye get into the castle, but we'll turn into a cabin here, 
to a man who keeps the gate, and he'll go with us." 

We turned into this cabin, and here found William 
and Mary, a brother and sister advanced in life, who, 
as Mary said, had been " bred, born, and raired on the 
ground, and knew the father and mother of this good 
man ; and he will like to discoorse with sich a nice 
body as ye are, a fine biddable woman ; and if ye love 
the poor, he'll be glad to see ye ; and ye should stop 
with me through the rain to-night, but he'll give ye the 
cup of tay and the fine bed ; and ye shall have my 
cloak, and Til go with ye and see ye snug in." While 


this long preface was going on, the young wag who 
accompanied me gave signs of unbelief, which Mary 
rebuked by, " And, Pat, it aint you that have sairved 
him, as we have." She got her best cloak, and fastened 
it about my neck, for my clothes were dripping with 
wet, and we all went out for the castle gate, but 
William, who stopped to keep the cg,bin. 

The bell was not answered till the ringing had been 
long and loud ; at last we were admitted into tlie kitchen. 
There was an interesting sight, — a company of fifty- 
two were sitting down to a supper of potatoes and but- 
termilk, mostly orphans. A few aged people were 
among them. They had just arisen from prayer. I 
saw, through the door, a table with Bibles, and was in- 
formed his custom was to pray before supper with the 

Mary made known to the housemaid what a bid- 
able, nice body she had brought to the master, and 
begged her to go and give information. The girl hesi- 
tated. Mary spoke again ; at last the messenger went 
in, when a fine maiden lady of fifty majestically ap- 
proached, " What is your name ?" Telling her, she 
answered, " You can't see Mr. S." " Did I understand 
you ?" I asked. " Mr. S. can't see you." This was 
the good woman who was " worth a voyage acrass the 
Atlantic to listen to her discoorse." The good Mary 
was aroused, and rising up, she said with much deci- 
sion, " It seems that Mr. S. is not at home. Come, ye 
shan't stay out in the staurm; my poor cabin can give 
ye a shelter ;" and taking me by the arm, she drew me 
towards the door. The maiden lady whispered in her 
ear that she must have a cloak, seeing that I had hers 
on my shoulders. Mary supposed she was to be pre- 
sented with some cake and tay for the stranger, and 
refused the cloak in contempt. 

The rain was pouring, the wind was blowing, and I was 
wet and weary, but not in the least disheartened. Pat 
had no sooner reached the street, than a whole edition 
of Irishman's honor, benevolence, sense of propriety, 
wit, and anathemas on the lord and lady of the castle 

190 KING'S COUNTY. [chap. x. 

was commenced. <^ And there's the puttin' the hand in 
the pocket, and takin' out a pound for the poor person, 
turnin' a dacent body into the black stawrm ; and there 
was the blackguard of the near hypocrite, sittin' by 
the table, where he'd just been praichin', and say in' his 
prayers. 'Tis true he feeds the hungry childer, you 
see, but a divil of a bit would a scrawl on 'em have, if 
they should be in a chapel, mindin' their own prayers* 
And do ye mind that scrawl of a puffed- up bladder, 
that come swellin' out to ye ? She'd had her lesson; 
she wasn't bid to ask ye to stop from the stawrm, and 
have a warm sup, and rest yer wairy bones in a good 

Had I been disposed to have censured the lord or 
lady of the castle, Pat's graphic description of their 
religion and conduct left nothing unsaid, and I was 

We entered the cabin of Mary; the brother was 
lying down, and the fire was dim upon the hearth. Pat 
gave the turf a little stir. " And see here, Will, see 
what I've brought ye." Will started from his bed. 
« And here's the wet and wairy stranger. I've brought 
her back to ye ; the good saint of yer master wouldn't 
left a whole bone in her body." ** Now ye dont say, 
Pat, he was goin' to bate her." " Be aisy, Pat," said 
Mary, " the divil is always standin' up in yer throat ; 
let me spake.'* Turning to me, she said, " Now ye 
will forgive Mr. S., wont ye ? he's a good man." 

*' But didn't he show the fondness so hard for the 
stranger, that the heart would been broke in her, if I 
hadn't got her away." " Now," said Will, " tell me 
the story." • 

Mary began, and but for Pat, would have told a 
plain and true one, but he was so constantly interfer- 
ing, that she succeeded but badly, and turning to me 
she said, " And yer of his religion, aint ye ?' Telling 
her I did not belong to his society, " Aw ! and why 
didn't ye tell me. I shouldn't a' took ye there. I 
should known he wouldn't bid ye welcome." "Awl 
that's a puii;y faith," said Pat ; " that's the religion he 


carries under that vagabond of a frieze coat ; that's the 
lesson he's larn't out of that blessed book that he's 
taichin' the scrawls he's feedin' and braikin' the heart 
about; he'd better take up his owld brogues, and cany 
his two heels back to the church he left, then to be 
denyin' the religion he was raired in, and be walkin' the 
earth such a hypocrite."* 

Poor Mary was completely out-done, and could only 
say to me, " But ye will forgive him, won't ye?" 

Will made another effort, and said, *< Aw ! Pat, ye'r 
too hard on him. Wasn't we raired on this ground, 
and didn't my father sarve his father ? And he's not 
turn'd us from his gate, though we don't go to his 
church, nor rehairse his prayers." "And well he 
needn't turn ye out; he knows better than that. 
Wasn't yer father as good a dog as ever watched the 
gate of a castle, and didn't he train ye, his curs, to 
bark for the son as well as himself for the father P And 
what does he do for ye ? The cabin and the potato 
ye have; but where's the tay and the bread? Ye 
haven't a bit for the stranger." 

I looked- upon this wag of nineteen, and said, " Is 
this the growth of Ireland's bogs and ditches ? Are 
such, the plants of nature's gardens, left unheeded and 
trampled under foot, crushed in the budding by the 
careless passenger ? Ah I little do the proud, titled, 
and estated ones of Erin know the power of mind 
which is embodied under the ragged garments, their ill- 
paid labor compels the toiling ones to wear. Little do 
they know that while they look with contempt, or make 
themselves merry at the expense of their unlettered 
blunders, that these ' things of nought' are scanning 
their every action, are reading them through, and, 
could they write a book, would tell them true tales of 
their character, which they never themselves under- 
stood, and which would made their ears tingle." 

Pat said, « Good night, with good luck to ye, stran- 
ger, and maybe ye'll have the pound note in the 

* Mr. S. formerly belonged to the Episcopal Church. 

192 KING'S COUNTY. [chap.x. 

mornin'." " Aw ! that Pat !" said Mary, " there's no 
use in tawkin*." 

Mary now had enough to do to make the stranger 
comfortable ; a pile of dry turf was added, lighting up 
a white- washed cabin, and white scoured stools, table, 
and cupboard, which amply compensated for every 
other inconvenience. She had nothing but the potato 
and turnip, and " Sure ye can't ate that." " Put on 
the pot," said Will, " it's better than nothin' to her 
cowld and wet stomach." Now could I bring the rea- 
der into this cabin, and spread out the whole as it was 
pictured to me, I would say I am paid and more than 
paid for my visit to Ireland. 

When the potatoes and turnips were boiled, they 
were mashed together, some milk and salt added, 
put upon a glistening plate, a clean bright cloth 
spread upon the deal table, and Mary sat down, 
groaning at the " strangeness of the master, and the 
miserable supper of the bidable woman," and start- 
ing as if from profound meditation, " What are we, 
after awl ? God save us awl, the best of us, we poor 
miserable bodies ; we think we're somethin' when we're 
nothin' ; when sick, we think if God will let us live, 
well do better; he gives us another start, and we go 
on the same gait, and so till the breath grows cowld 
in the body. I can give ye a clane bed, and lay ye 
warm in it." 

" And where will you sleep, Mary? Do not let me 
turn you from your bed." " And that ye won't. I'll 
find the comfortable place for my bones." I was led to 
the bed-room, and in this floorless cabin what did I 
there see? A nice bedstead, a clean covering, two 
soft flannel blankets, and linen sheets, white and glossy 
with starch, and curtains about the bed as white as 
bleaching could make them. The feathers were stirred 
in a narrow compass, to make the bed softer, so that 
but one could have room in it, and in this I was put ; 
then a clean flannel was heated by the fire, and put 
about my shoulders, another about my feet, " to take 
the cowld and pain out of my wairy bones/' 


When Mary had finished putting the covering 
snugly ahout me, she placed the curtains closely around 
the bed, and softly went to the kitchen hearth. The 
door she left open, and I could see what passed there. 
She crept to a stool, and kneeling down, she prayed. 
Yes, unlettered as she was, I believe she prayed, and 
I believe God heard that prayer. She arose, and 
leaning her face upon her hands, she sat, gently swing- 
ing her body, now and then looking towards my bed, 
and waited till she thought me to be asleep. Then 
putting her cloak about her, she crept stealthily 
into my room, and peeped through the curtain. See- 
ing my eyes closed, she carefully put the drapery 
together, and crawled behind me upon the naked bed 
frame ; for she had put the bed all under me ; and in 
a few moments this unsophisticated, practical, humble 
christian was asleep. She did not intend I should 
know she was there, and why ? Lest I should think 
she had made sacrifices for me. Was this doing her 
good works to be seen of men ? Did I sleep ? Not 
much. Gratitude to the kind Mary, and more than all, 
gratitude to God, that he had brought me to see, in 
fills day's and night's adventure, the practical import of 
the parable of the good Samaritan, kept me waking. 

When the day dawned, Mary softly stole to the 
kitchen, and made her turf fire ; swept and dusted the 
floor and furniture, and while her potatoes were boil- 
ing sat down to meditate, with her face leaning on her 
hands. William arose and whispered to Mary, and 
went out softly, shutting the door. 

I went out, and the kind Mary feared greatly that I 
had not slept, and that my breakfast would not sairve 
me. " And will ye," she said emphatically, " will ye, 
from the heart, forgive Mr. S. ? He'll be sorry when 
he thinks on't, that he sent a lone body out in the 
Btawrm." Assuring her I would from the heart forgive 
him ; "and will ye forget it ?** That I could not promise; 
the lesson was too good a one to be forgotten ; " but, 
Mary, I will make ^e best possible use of it." The 
breakfast was soon ready ; a handful of meal put into 


194 KING'S COUNTY. [chap. x. 

the mashed potatoes, made into a griddle cake, with a 
" sup " of milk, was all that kind-hearted Mary could 
offer. And when this was taken, I prepared to depart. 
" How can 1 let ye go, and not have the Master hear 
ye discoorse, yer so knowledgeable a body P' 

I was fastening my cape about my shoulders, when 
she approached, took hold of it as if to assist me, 
and looking me full and steadily in the face, said, 
« Mind, when ye go to heaven, and I come to the gate, 
tell yer Lord to let Mary Aigin in; *for when the rich 
master turned me out in the stawrm, she took me into 
her cabin, and sheltered me from the tempest, and gev 
me a cJane bed for the night.' And will ye forgive 
the master before the night comes on ye? Aw ! ye must 
forgive, and the Lord forgive him for his strangeness 
to the dacent woman that had been rair'd to good 
things." She went with me, and set me on my way, 
and ardently did I desire that 1 might meet poor Mary, 
where the rich and the poor shall be rewarded accord- 
ing as their work shall be ; and when she turned 
from me, I prayed that I might be so honored as to 
have a seat at her feet in heaven. For I could have 
no doubt but that spirit of forgiveness, and that 
meekness which she manifested, must have emanated 
from the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. 

I would not have offered any reward, had it been in 
my power ; for I had before learned that reward 
offered, for food or lodging given to a stranger, was 
always rejected, on the sacred principle that it was 
given for God*s sake. This offering of Mary's was the 
widow's mite indeed. " It was all her living." It was 
given with sacrifice. She gave up her choicest com- 
fort, her nice, her comfortable bed, and she relinquished 
this comfort without so much as naming it. 

The rich master was feeding the poor without any 
sacrifice ; he needed it not, and beside he was gratify- 
ing that strong — ^that blinding propensity so inherent 
in man, of winning to his favorite party antagonist 
practices, if not antagonist principles, bringing them 
to say, " You was right, and I was wrong." Oh, what 


a blessed lesson had been before me in the short space 
of eighteen hours ! It whispered in my ear, never to 
take a man's religion, whether in a tartan or a frieze 
coat, in silver slippers or in brogues, till I should 
follow him home. 

I was afterwards told, that the causes of my rejection 
at the castle were, going to hear hireling Protestants 
preach, and Father Mathew give the pledge. 


Novel Interior of a Cabin — No Lodging Place — Dreary walk 
through mud and rain to Roscrea — ^What to do for a bed ? 
— A profitable Sixpence — Start joyfully, with fine weather, 
and threepence in my purse — A Lift from a "Friend" — 
Money-letter at ,Urlingford — Reflections — Honesty and 
kindness of the poor Irish Peasantry — Parting &om cordial 
friends — Garrulous fellow-traveller — Perilous position — 
Return to Dublin, and kind reception — ^Puzzling Voyage of 

The morning was cloudy, and rain began soon to falL 
I was ^ve miles from Roscrea, and it being but about 
ten in the morning, thought best to go into a shelter 
till the rain might subside. A little cabin, with the 
tempting flower pot standing in the window, saying, 
•* Here are order and content within," induced me to 
call. It was built of rough stone, and was not white- 
washed ; but when I entered, the scene was changed. 
Such a room in cabin or cottage never had met my eyes. 
The room was small, and in the midst of it stood a centre- 
table of the highest polish. On it were gilt-edged books, 
shells, flower-baskets, specimens of Ireland's diamonds 
and gems ; and under it were all the iron and tin 
utensils used for cooking, glistening like so many 
mirrors. There was no floor but the ground, but a 
nice straw mat was at the door, a hearth-rug of no 
mean quality, a number of covered stools for the feet, 
a nice looking-glass and table, and a bed of the best 
appearance, with fringed curtains surrounding it. Two 
well-dressed ladies were sitting in the room, with a 

K 2 

J96 KING'S COUNTY. [chap. xi. 

beautiful little lapdog on a soft mat at their feet. As 
I first entered, I thought of a room of fairies, and 
hesitated, to see whether the beautiful images made on 
my mind by Mary's neat cabin had not swelled to this 
fine picture. " Walk in,'' said one of the ladies, " and 
take a seat from the rain." 

They were sisters; one was married to a police 
officer, and told me she had not, in her life, been six 
miles from that cabin where she was sitting. How 
and where she acquired this taste, and where she had * 
been taught such a finish of house-keeping, so distinct 
from all her neighbours, is difficult to understand. 
They sat till five o'clock without eating, though they 
gave me a biscuit, and they sat without working. The 
rain continued, but the young ladies told me that they 
had an engagement that evening, to attend a christen- 
ing, and must be out. There was a lodging-house 
near, and the unmarried sister offered to accompany 
me, adding, « The woman is quite odd, and may teU 
you she can't lodge you, when she can." We went. 
A positive denial was the result. I begged her to give 
me a shelter from the pitiless storm, giving her my 
usual pass- word, "American stranger," telling her 
that the Irish were so hospitable, and if she would 
visit my country I would do her all the good I could. 
All this cringing and coaxing was unavailing. "I 
have told ye I wouldn't lodge ye, and that's enough." 
There was an inviting bright fire upon the hearth. I 
begged her to let me lie down upon the chairs, and 
stop till the rain should cease, and I would go out at 
any hour. " I shall not keep you, and that's enough." 
I next went to an English family ; they refused because 
they had just moved in. It was night, and very dark, 
and the rain and storm increased. I set my face 
towards Boacrea, and was struggling with wind and 
rain, when I saw the smoke of a cabin coming out at 
the door, which a woman had opened, with a pot of 
potatoes she was carrying in. I inquired the distance 
to Boscrea. ** You am*t a-goin' there to night ; turn 
into the house a bit ; a smoky shelter is better than a 


stawrm. And why did ye not stop in the lodgin'-house 
back ?" Telling her I was refused ; *< and did she 
think she never might be a wawkin', and want a 
lodgin' place ? Ah, she's a blackguard ; she stands 
there sellin* whiskey from momin' to night, to the 
vagabonds about the place." 

This cabin had not one redeeming quality. Two 
pigs lay in one comer upon a pile of straw; three 
dirty children were on the hearth ; a miserable bed, 
one chair, a stool or two, and an old tottering table, 
made the sum total of this domicile. And in addition 
to the smoke from the turf on the hearth, a copious 
volume was poured in from an adjoining room, from 
over a partition which extended mid-way up. What 
could I do here ? Breathing was quite difficult ; and, 
in or out, my case was no promising one. The poor 
man came in from his work, and sat down by a little 
low table, and held his arms around the edge, while 
the good woman poured the potatoes upon it. He 
picked out a large one, which he said weighed a pound, 
and, taking off the coat with his nails, presented it to 
me. I toasted it upon the coals, ate a part of it, and 
went to the door ; and seeing that the rain had not 
abated, and that I must go, committed myself to him 
"who rides upon the stormy sky," and went out. 
" If I had a place, you should not go," the poor man 
said, as he saw me going. 

My lot for the next two hours was not a pleasant 
one. The road was dreadfully clayey and hilly. I 
waded through darkness, mud, and storm ; sometimes 
on the road, sometimes in the ditch ; and but once met 
a human being, whom I found to be an old man, who 
pitifully exclaimed, " Ye'r lost ! ye'r destroyed ! and 
ye've two miles under yer fut to the town."' These 
two miles were replete with realities — no imagination 
here. I reached Roscrea about ten, and everything in 
town was still, but the loud jpouring of the raint I 
was bewildered, and knew not a single street, till I 
saw by a lamp a girl ; and inquiring for the market, 
found the old stopping place of the kind woman who 

198 CO. OF TIPPERARY. [chap. xi. 

had invited me to stay, when passing through. And 
the first salutation when she saw me enter, was, " I 
have no place to put you here — ^I am obliged to sleep 
on the boards myself." 

My clothes were dripping with wet ; it was past 
ten ; and the rain was tremendous. ** I believe that t 
am not to have a lodging in Ireland to night," was my 
answer. "I will go with you to Mrs. T's." She went, 
I was refused, and the friend left me, and returned to 
her house. Mrs. T. said she had taken two more than 
her usual number, and every bed was filled. 

Now, kind friends, if you have followed me through 
rain and storm to Roscrea, remember the sixpence 
given to the poor woman when I passed through the 
town, and mark its progress. I stood, not knowing 
what to do. In a hotel I could not get a bed, for 
want of money. A voice from a dark comer called 
out, ** Aint ye the American lady that went through 
here a few weeks since?" I answered that I was- 
« Tve heard of you, and you shall have a bed if I sit 
up. You kept a cabin over a poor woman's head, and 
G-od won't let you stay all night in the stawrm." The 
mistress was in bed ; this woman went to her, told her 
who I was, and extolled my excellencies so vividly, that 
the mistress said, " I have a bed in the garret where 
the servant sleeps, but there is nothing but a ladder 
that leads to it. I could give her clean sheets, and a 
chaff bed, but am ashamed to offer such a place." I 
heard it, and said, " A ladder is no objection 5 give me 
clean sheets, and all will be well." The mistress arose, 
made me a cup of coffee, and brought bread and but- 
ter, and put me in a situation to dry my clothes. I ate 
some bread, and took " a sup" of milk, ascended the 
ladder, and never slept sweeter. " Cast thy bread upon 
the waters, and after many days thou shalt find it." I 
had found my bread in the place where I left it, and 
at the very time T most needed it. But for that trifling 
sixpence, I should probably have staid under some 
hedge that night, or been walking upon the street on 
my way to Urlingford. 


At five in the morning I was down stairs, called for 

my bill, and was told it was three-pence ; nothing for 

the supper, and half price for climbing a ladder. I 

had now three pence, and but twenty-six miles before 

me. I went forth, the clouds were swept from the 

sky, the stars were looking out ; it was December, and 

the day was just dawning ; the grass was green, made 

young and fresh by the rain, and the morning bird 

had begun his song. I should be ungrateful to say 

that I was not happy. I was more than happy, I was 

joyful, and commenced singing. 1 was standing upon 

a green bank, admiring the scenery, when the thought 

occurred to take out my purse, look at my three pence, 

and realise, if possible, my true condition. A stranger 

in a foreign land ; a female, alone, walking with but 

three pence in my possession. I did so, and the sight 

of the pennies, rude and ungraceful as it might be, 

caused me to laugh. " What lack I yet ?" was my 

prompt reply, and then was I happy that I had been 

compelled to test my sincerity in visiting Ireland, and 

my firm unwavering belief in the promises and care of 

God. I had but just returned my purse to the bag, 

when 1 heard a carriage, and a call, " Stop, and take 

a ride to the next town. Here is the American lady 

that stopped at my house." This was the Quaker at 

whose place I stopped on my route to Galway. This 

ride carried me six miles from Roscrea, to the place 

where I had stayed at the shopkeeper's, when on my 

way. I was met and welcomed at the car by a son of 

the family, with, " We're glad to see you ; Uncle has 

a letter for you at Urlingfbrd, with money in it from 

America ; but he found the seal broken at the office, 

and thought it might be unsafe to send it on to 


A breakfast was prepared. I passed the day in 
making repairs in garments sadly racked by storms 
and trials before unknown, and the next morning the 
boy and car were sent to carry me to Urlingford. My 
money was in waiting, my friends were as kind as 
when I left, and I sat down to rest and reflect. 

200 CO. OF KILKENNT. [chap. xi. 

I looked back upon the strange journey with pecu- 
liar feelings. Through storm and sunshine, bj night 
and by day, without harm or fear of harm, had I 
wandered. I Looked down upon the shoes which a 
lady presented me in New York, and could say with 
the children of Israel, " My shoes waxed not old on my 
feet," though they let in the water ; but they made a 
decent appearance outside, which among the peasantry 
is a matter of great moment. Filthy as they may be 
called in Connaught, yet a clean collar and cuffs would 
immediately be noticed, and mentioned as a proof that 
I was a " proper person." And I was more careful to 
be in tidiness when among the poorest peasantry, than 
when among the gentry ; the latter could make suita- 
ble allowances for all defects, and the former thought 
it, from its rarity, an attainment of great merit. 

The protecting kindness of God must be recorded 
in particular, as I never had been in the habit of be- 
ing out alone after nightfall in city or country, and 
should have shrunk from it as improper, if not dan- 
gerous. Here, the peace of mind, the unwavering 
trust which I ever felt in the arm that sustained me, 
kept me not only from fear, but kept me joyful. Yes, 
1 was joyful, though a stranger, alone, upon desert 
mountains, and in deep glens, without money, and 
often without food, — sometimes sleeping upon naked 
chairs, sometimes upon a pile of straw, and sometimes 
not at all. Yet my strength never failed ; no pain of 
the head or sickness of the stomach, no cold or fever 
ever assailed me. Yes, I can say, that I then knew 
and felt, that the bank of heaven was full, that it 
could never fail, that the banker knew every deposit, 
and knew when and how to give out as the depositor 
needed ; and that he would withhold " no more than 
was meet," and no longer than was necessary. 

" Do not, I beg you," said a kind clergyman, who is 
mentioned in this journal, **ever suffer yourself to be 
out after dark alone in Ireland. It is presumptuous, 
it is dangerous." This was his last injunction, and 
twice has he written me the same caution. I thanked 


him kindly, but could not understand his fears. I had 
but one feeling, and that was trust ; and when night 
unavoidably overtook me, whether upon a mountain or 
in a city, what was that to me ? I loved to hear a 
footstep in my path, for I knew it would be accompa- 
nied with a "God save ye kindly ;*' and that salutation 
ever has sounded to me, when alone, like the voice of 
Him who said, ** My peace I give unto you." And 
often have I answered the kind peasant by saying, 
" the Lord does save me kindly." These were halcyon 
days, days of my best and richest, days when I turned 
to the God that was within me^ and laid hold of his 

Another most important object was attained by my 
travelling as I did. The Irish, their enemies would 
have it, are murderers ; they will kill a person for a 
few shillings. 1 was days and weeks in the wildest 
parts, certainly much better attired than they were, 
often with a small locket about my neck, which they 
supposed was a watch. They knew I had crossed the 
Atlantic, they knew I was alone, and they did not 
suppose, till I told them, but that I had money in 
abundance ; and for the most of the time I was wholly 
in their power. Why did they not use this power ? 
Why, on some lone mountain, three and five miles 
from any cabin, did they not leave my bones to bleach 
there ? Or why did not some dark glen cover the 
stranger for ever from the ken of man? 1 learned too, 
the true nature of their hospitality, and proved to a 
demonstration that it was not feigned ; for invariably 
when I told them I could not reward them for their 
potato or lodgings, " And didn't ye crass the ocean to 
see the poor ? Ye may stay as long as ye will." 

Facts might be multiplied of unparalleled kindness 
from the poor ; but I must prepare for other scenes. 
My body and mind were both strengthened by rest 
and kindness at the doctor's, where I had been most 
of the time since my return ; and to Dublin I must de- 
part. And so urged was I to spend the Christmas 
there> that I felt obliged to say I should not, for could 

K 3 

202 QUEEN'S COUNTY. [chap, xi* 

not answered no purpose* " If you will leave us, the 
blessing of God go with you/* was the reply; and 
man, horse, and car, cake and cheese, were ready. I 
felt that morning that the air of Kilcooley and Kil- 
kenny was wafting fresh kindness, that the birds sang 
it, and the dogs barked it; and when the doctor, his wile 
and daughter, with the little Yankee Doodle, accom- 
panied me to the gate, I begged that not one of them 
should speak. I looked a long farewell. A wave from 
the hand of the doctor, a tear in the eye of his com- 
panion, were the last I saw ; and a "God bless you," 
from the little Yankee was the last I heard. I hur- 
ried the driver to take me away. Why should I 
linger ? This was not my rest. I should not find the 
like in many families ; it could not be expected, and 
it would have paralysed those strenuous efforts which 
must be made in accomplishing what was before me. 

Thirteen miles brought me to the pleasant town of 
Durrow, where I stopped for the night, to take( passage 
in the morning for Dublin. Here I found an afflicted 
woman, whose husband had seven years before gone 
to New York, and she had not once heard from him. 
The sight of an American opened anew the channels 
of grief, which had already done a serious work. 
Kindness was here lavished without weight or mea- 
sure, and when I called for my bill in the morning, 
*< We cannot ask you any thing, for you have had 
nothing," alluding to a straw bed which had been pre- 
pared by my request. I paid them more than the ordi- 
nary price, for they had done more than is customary 
to be done for lodgers. 

At five, while the waning moon and twinkling stars 
were still looking out upon the beautiful landscape 
beneath them, I was upon the car, with a talkative 
young coachman, and rode five miles, passing the 
domains of the rich, whose high walls and wide- 
spreading lawns made a striking contrast with the 
thatched hovels and muddy door-yards of the wretched 
poor around them. Never had I rode in Ireland when 
the stillness, the scenery, and the hour of the morning 


all so happily combined to make the heart rejoice as 
now. But the one dreadful, ever living truth, like 
a spectre haunts the traveller at every step ; that Ire- 
land's poor, above all others, are the most miserable, 
the most forgottesy and the most patient of all beings. 
I heed not who says the picture is too highly drawn. 
Let them see this picture as I have seen it, let them 
walk it, let them eat it, let them sleep it, as I have 
done. Let them look at these disgusting rags, with 
eyes not dimmed by constant use, and hearts not seared 
by love of avarice. Let them look on L'eland as 
though she were some distant isle, ruled by some 
pagan lord. Would they not say, blot her from the 
earth, sink her in the sea, scatter her to the winds, or 
make her more comely in the eyes of men ? 

I could not but say, while passing these forbidding 
cabins, " Sleep on, for when you awake it must only 
be to fresh misery; it must only be to idleness or unre- 
quited toil. You are now free from the voice of the 
imperious landlord ; you do not now see the squalid, 
half naked child asking for the potato ; and you do 
not see the light of that sun, which only shines to you 
to light up your degradation." 

We now reached the handsome town of Abbeyleix, 
as the caravan was about leaving for Dublin. A garru- 
lous old Protestant of more than eighty, who said he 
built the second house in Abbeyleix 48 years before, 
the daughter and granddaughter of the old gentleman, 
an elderly Catholic man, a young Irish girl, and a live 
turkey made up the passengers, including myself. 
When I had answered the knowing old gentleman 
all questions about America, from the sitting of con- 
gress to the cultivation of pigs, geese, and turkies, he 
told me in turn the wonders of his nation, some of 
which were quite incredible, if not ridiculous. His 
daughter, who was a married women, and well dressed, 
seemed to enjoy the unceasing volubility of her father; 
and when I remonstrated, she added, ** O ! he must be 
gratified," and I then said I must leave the caravan. 
He was well dressed, had read much, and apparently 

204 DUBLIN. [chap. xi. 

belonged to the higher class of society, so called. 
What surely am I to next meet in travelling through 
Ireland ? All sorts of characters, in all sorts of con- 
dition^ were meeting me at almost every turn. 

The conversation now turned upon the subject of 
giving the Bible to the common people ; the Catholic 
urging that when they could not read it, what possible 
good could it do ? Aiid that it was so little valued by 
them, whenever they had any of it, they used it for 
wrapping-paper, and often for lighting their pipes. 
The debate was ended by passengers crowding in, so 
that the ride was quite uncomfortable. I had previ- 
ously asked the privilege of riding outside, to escape 
the old man, but was denied, because the coachman 
said it was quite unsafe. The door now opened, and 
the coachman invited me to take a seat upon the top, 
promising to make me as comfortable as possible. I 
would not refuse, because I had asked the favor ; and 
though the eminence looked perilous, it must be tried. 
There were no seats upon the top, and I was fixed upon 
the edge, my feet hanging down, with a heavy coarse 
sack fiung across them to keep them warm, which I 
was obliged to hold in one hand, and with the other to 
grasp a wire, to secure me from falling from this dizzy 
height. This position I found so uneasy, I was obliged 
to draw my feet upon the top of the caravan, and in 
this cramped condition rode fifteen miles to Dublin. 
Here, in my old lodgings, I found additional welcome, 
for it was followed by an invitation to make the house 
my home, free from charges. My trunks had been 
well minded, and the kindness here seemed but the 
other extremity of the chain, beginning at Doctor 

I visited many of the public places in Dublin ; and 
in my perambulations alone about the city, noticed 
quite a difference in the kindness and civility of the 
lower class, especially about the docks, to that of the 
same class in the interior. An enquiry concerning a 
street would always be answered with civility, but if 
any misunderstanding or confusion be manifested, a 


second enquiry is often followed by rudeness. This is 
generally the character of all seaports, in every 

The sixth of December, at eight in the morning, I 
took a piece of bread, and went out upon the circular- 
road that surrounds the city. Soon finding myself in 
a labyrinth, where water, bridges, mud, and cabmen 
were in a confused mass, and not knowing how to get 
out, I enquired the way. A wag called out, " Follow 
your nose, woman." This answer would not have been 
given by a Connaughtman, or a mountain peasant; 
but knowing he was an Irishman, I received it in good 
part, and answered that I had followed it till it had 
brought me into the ditch, and 1 found it was not a 
good guide, and I now wished some instruction from 
more experienced ones. With one consent, every man 
left his cab, eager to direct me the shortest way, each 
having the best knowledge ; till in the confusion, and 
the kindness, I was directed all points of the compass 
but the right one, and I hardly knew whether to stand 
still, move forward, or go back. I went from them, 
and enquired of two labouring men, who told me I 
was wrong ; a third insisted, " she is right ;" following 
the direction of the two first, a women of whom I en- 
quired told me I was certainly wrong, and led me on 
about docks and walls, till, tired with the chase, I told 
her this could not be the way. In anger she turned 
away, declaring she would say no more. Another met 
me, said I had been led astray, pitied me much, took 
me about a circuitous wall, showed me the ships and 
houses as kind of land-marks, adding, " You must go 
to the quay, cross the river, and you will be on the 
circular road." By this time I was so crazed, that all 
roads were alike, and in despair took the track around 
the wall again, and stumbled upon the woman, who 
had left me in anger. " Here comes this woman 
again," she said angrily to another. "Yes," I an- 
swered, " here she comes again, and is half crazed." 
"I knew that afore." By this time I was quite a 
penitent, and begged her to tell me once more, and I 

206 DUBLIN. [chap. xn. 

would follow her direction. She did so. It was a 
long way, but it led me to the ferry. I crossed, and 
reached the spot on the circular-road from which I 
started at two o'clock, having taken the whole circuit, 
a distance of twelve to me weary miles, and so con- 
fused that I cannot now remember one perch of the 


Start for another Tour — How to carry a heavy Load with 
little trouble — A formidable Animal in the Caravan — Wick- 
low — Visit to a Poor Cabin, Half-a-crown earned in Three 
Months — Attentive Auditory — Wretched condition of a Sick 
Woman — The bright Old Man of the Mountain — Sabbath 
Hymn, and the Company collected thereby — The Scholar 
with his Iliad — Visit to Wicklow Lighthouses — Wexford — 
Lafant School— A tolerant Catholic. 

Jan. 9> 1845 — A pleasant stay of four weeks in 
Dublin made a journey around the coast, which I had 
resolved to take, look a little formidable, as it was in 
the depth of winter ; but the work was before me, and 
difficulties must be surmounted. 

I had become sufficiently acquainted with the pea- 
santry of Ireland, to know how to gain access ; and 
had resolved that this access should be made an avenue • 
if possible to do them good. They were not in general 
so ignorant nor so bigoted as I had supposed, many of 
the children had access to some kind of instruction in 
most parishes I visited. I found that money, as a 
reward for any little favour, (except among the guides,) 
was refused, and I resolved to give them books, as 
well as to read among them as I had previously done. 
The preface of this work informs the reader how these 
books were furnished. A good selection of tracts 
on practical piety, school books, and English and Irish 
Testaments made up the catalogue. 
. I will mention the manner of carrying these books^ 


because it proved to me so convenient ; and if anjfv 
other persons should ever climb the mountains and 
penetrate the glens as I did, they may find it expe- 
dient also. I carried no trunk, but a basket ; had two 
pockets in which the tracts were put ; and upon a 
strong cord fastened two bags, into which I put the 
Testaments, and appended this cord about me, under a 
Polka coat. When on a coach or. car, these did not 
incommode me ; and when I stopped at a town, to 
visit upon the adjacent mountains, I took from a bag 
what was required, put them in my basket, and went 
out, always minding to carry a Testament in my hand, 
which every peasant walking with me would ask me 
to read. 

Thus equipped, like Abraham, I " went out, not 
knowing whither I went." The family where I stopped 
had anticipated my wants, and furnished me with such 
little et ceteras as to a traveller are very grateful, and 
the two mindful sisters accompanied me to the caravan, 
which at half past three was to go out for Wicklow. 
I was cheerful ; I was happy ; till one of the ladies 
called out, " Look ! there is a Connaughtman." At 
the entrance into the caravan sat a man with blue 
stockings to the knee, corduroys above, grey coat, and 
a pipe in his mouth. This to me was the " avalanche '^ 
more formidable than beds of straw, potatoes without 
salt, nights of wanderings on bleak mountains in rain 
and storm. Not because he was a Connaughtman — 
not because he was poor — not because he was ignorant ; 
but because I hated to my very heart the stench of 
tobacco, and the wholesale, never-dying staring which 
penetrated every fibre of my frame, and set every nerve 
ajar. Laugh who may, I could not help it. 

As I approached the vehicle, the kind man moved, 
allowing me to sit near the door. A countryman and 
countrywoman were in the caravan ; the former soon 
fell a-snoring; and a ride of twenty-two miles in "dark- 
ness visible " brought us to Wicklow. The man awoke, 
and offered to find me a " proper lodgin'-house," and 
in my hurry to escape the Connaughtman, I left my 

208 CO OF WICKLOW. [chap. xn. 

jparasol, and lost a guide book which I never found. 
The man found me a comfortable lodging-place, bade 
me " God speed/* and departed. 

The next morning, though it rained and the wind 
was violent, I walked upon the sea-shore, and seeing 
a miserable hut, made my way to it — a dark, cheerless 
abode. A man and sickly old wife were sitting by a 
pot of potatoes, which was kept boiling by means of 
dry fern, which the man was constantly applying to 
keep up the blaze. Three children of their own, and a 
nurse child, were in the room; the latter hiding herself 
because she was nearly naked. " She is ashamed, 
ma'am," said an elder girl ; << she's not a hap'orth to 
cover her, and we can do nothing but give her the 
potato." The father said he had earned but half- 
a-crown in three months, had nothing to do from 
morning to night but sit, as I saw him. His wife was 
evidently in a decline, and when I spoke to her of 
another and better world, where the inhabitants should 
no more say, <* I am sick," she turned aside with a look 
of disapprobation; and the husband, by way of apology, 
told the daughters to bring their premium Bibles they 
had got in Sabbath school. "We are Protestants, 
ma'am, and the children go to Sunday school ; but it's 
many a day since the wife and I could get a dacent 
suit for the Sabbath." " Your pastor visits you ?" I 
said. "Not a hap'orth do his feet ever crass the 
threshold of a poor man's cabin like mine, ma'am." I 
could only pity, and left them as hopeless as when I 
found them. 

In the evening, the woman of the house asked, 
" Have you anything nice to read, ma'am ?" Telling 
her I had, she prepared to listen, when a fish-woman 
entered wet with rain, and seating herself by the fire, 
commenced a stream of talk, sense and nonsense, Irish 
wit and Irish vulgarity, so compounded and so over- 
whelming, that I was about leaving the room, when 
the man of the house whispered, " She has lost her 
mind, ma'am. Two years ago she had two sons, fine 
young men as ye'd find in a day's walk, and they were 

CHAP, xn.] CO. OF WICKLOW. 209 

drowned in the say, and she never had her mind since." 
I took my books, when she inquired, " Are ye going 
to read, ma'am ?" " If you wish, I will, if you can be 
quiet." " Be sure I will,*' and seating herself at my 
feet upon the floor, she listened with the deepest 
interest. She sat for more than two hours, nor could 
she be persuaded to sit anywhere else ; and when I 
read some of the last words of the Saviour, in the book 
of John, she clasped her hands with wonder and joy, 
asking, " Was that for poor sinners like me ?*' She 
seemed clothed and in her right mind, and I could 
think of nothing but the calm that followed when the 
Saviour rebuked the wind and the sea. My auditory 
had increased to a goodly number, and when I finished, 
they inquired, "And could ye sell a few of these 
books ?" Telling them they were not to sell, but to 
be given; "and may be ye'd give us a little one,*' 
meaning the tracts, which they had seen, and " our 
children shall read *em, lady," said one. With all the 
simplicity of children, they talked of all the good things 
they had heard me read. " And it's many a long day 
since we*ve seen the Jikes of ye, and heard the nice 
things ye have said to us." Thanking, blessing, and 
bidding me God speed, they went out. 

Saturday morning — The woman had the Evangelists 
and the book of Acts, of the Douay translation, reading 
them most attentively, exclaiming, " God be merciful 
to me, a sinner!*' This book she kept under her 
counter, and every moment, when at leisure, she was 
reading ; nor was this a transient fit, for when I com- 
menced reading a chapter in John, she went before 
me, repeating it verbatim as she had learned it before, 
till nearly the whole chapter was rehearsed. 

A ramble in the afternoon gave me a beautiful pros- 
pect of the sea and town. Meeting a peasant, and 
inquiring the way, " And ye*re a stranger, and have 
ye seen the light-houses a mile and a half from this ? 
They will be well worth a walk to them," he said. I 
detern^ned to go, but turning into a cabin, a sight was 
there presented which diverted me from everything 

210 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. xn. 

beside. On a pile of straw, placed upon a bedstead in 
the corner, lay an emaciated woman without a sheet or 
bedspread of any kind, but an old cloak which but 
pairtly covered her ; and shivering with cold, sitting in 
the ashes, were three small children ; and in another 
corner, a pile of straw upon the floor, where they slept. 
The woman made incoherent answers at first, but soon 
was collected, and apologized for her seeming rudeness, 
by saying she was ashamed she had answered a lady 
so ; and I soon saw she was of no mean extract. She 
informed me her husband had been three months in 
the hospital ; that her bed and bed-clothes had been 
pawned for food ; that she could now relish nothing 
but rice and bread, and these she could not procure. 
" The doctor used to be kind," said the mother. Taking 
the eldest daughter, I went in pursuit of him : the 
doctor had forgotten them, and could say no more than 
that she must go to the infirmary, or lie as she was. I 
went to my lodgings ; the woman had nothing to spare; 
directed me to a hospitable Catholic lady, who never 
refused. She was ill; could not be seen. I went 
away disheartened, and was passing among the crowd, 
when the servant called after me, " Mrs. D. says she 
will see you." Hearing that I was an American, she 
hoped to hear of friends there, and when I returned 
was received with much affability ; and telling the sad 
tale of the dying woman, she pitied, gave a few pence, 
enjoining me not to mention the donor, adding, " You 
know if we mention our alms-giving, it will do the 
giver no good at last." A little covering was purchased 
at a pawnbroker's, some bread and rice added, and 
carried to the wretched cabin. Stepping in a few 
doors from this abode, and begging a female to look in, 
and see that the poor woman should not die so ne- 
glected, " We are all starved, and perishing with want, 
lady," was the reply, ** and cannot mind our neigh- 
bours." I went to my lodgings, and passed the evening, 
reading to attentive auditors to a late hour. 

Sabbath morning, -^The sun arose pleasantly — a 
welcome sight, as my eyes had scarcely seen a cloudless 

OHAP. xn.] CO. OF WICKLOW. 211 

sky in seven months. Taking a few tracts, I went out 
to ascend the wild mountains, which lay back from the 
town, and whose heathy sides I was told were sprinkled 
with smoky cabins. Climbing rocks, crossing hedges 
and ditches, I at last saw a cabin on the brow of a 
hill, and entered its humble door. An old man was 
shaving ; wiping his razor, " God save ye kindly, 
lady; and sure ye must have gone astray, to be so 
airly out on this wild mountain ; ye must be a stranger; 
and have ye no comrade to be with ye ?" 

His tall stooping figure, his noble bald forehead, 
the sprinkling grey locks upon the back and sides of 
his head, the lustre of his eye, and the smoothness of 
his placid face made him an object of deep interest at 
first sight ; but when he told me he had breathed the 
air of seventy-five winters on these mountains, with- 
out a "hap'orth of sickness, or a pill from the doctor," 
and could read my books with a naked eye, I was 
almost incredulous. " If ye have a Douay Testament, 
I will try my hand at one, lady; but will not touch 
any other." Promising to return with one, if I had 
any, he accompanied me a good distance up the moun- 
tain, and making a low bow, which would have done 
honor to a Parisian, he bade a good morning, adding, 
•* Ye must be in haste, ma'am, if ye would be in time 
for chapel." 

The light-house soon met my eye, standing upon a 
craggy rock — the old one, which had been struck by 
lightning, all shattered and useless, waiting at a re- 
spectful distance. But the bold, the awful grandeur 
of this place — how can I describe it, that the reader 
may understand me? The gate was fast closed that led 
to the neat white dwelling-houses upon the brow of the 
rock, and making a circuitous route, I descended into a 
glen, then up a wild craggy steep, by the help of both 
feet and hands, and found myself upon the top of an 
awfully grand rock, partly covered with grass and firs, 
overlooking the then placid waves that lay at the foot. 
The sun was shining, and, though January 12th, birds 
were singing, and green spots of grass were here and 

212 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. xn. 

there scattered among the ploughed fields at a distance. 
Far at my back were extensive cultivated lands upon 
the mountains, which, by their natural unevenness, still 
retained their wildness ; and at my right was stretched 
the fine strand of Wicklow. Not a human being was 
near, but God had left an impress there which could 
not be misunderstood. I sat down, and looked into 
the abyss, eddying, deep, and dark, in a niche between 
two rocks at my left. The sea was spread out at an 
interminable distance to the eye, sparkling in the sun- 
beam, and bearing a solitary sail floating at ease. 
Taking off my bonnet, I paused to wonder and adore. 
It was the resurrection morning. I saw no sepulchre 
here hewn out of the rock, but caves were scattered on 
right and left, where ancient chieftains had made their 
abode. I commenced singing my favorite hymn, 

" Majestic sweetness sits enthroned;" 

and when finished, looked about, and saw the shadows 
of eight boys who were standing upon the rock behind 
me. They were at a distance, beyond the rock, had 
heard the singing, and leaping up the sides, stood in 
breathless silence, nor did one of them stir till I kindly 
saluted them, when a laughing face of ten years said, 
" And ye sung well, and didn't we hear it ?" The peo- 
ple at the light-house had heard, and came running 
upon the brow of the rock, on the other hand of me, 
not knowing what strange sounds could be floating upon 
the air so early. 

I turned and looked upon the group of wild moun- 
tain boys, buoyant and light-footed as the hare they 
were pursuing, as they stood, undaunted though not 
impudent, before me ; and said, " What was Ireland 
once, and what is she now !" In spite of oppression, 
her children, free as the mountain air, eat their pota- 
to, hunt their rabbit and deer, leap upon the rocks, 
laugh and sing, dance upon the green, and tell you 
tales of ancient Irish days, and throw out their light 
sallies of wit, which seems like an inexhaustible foun- 
tain, bubbling spontaneously at every breath. 


"And are you going to church or chapel, my boys?*' 
" All Protestants,** cried one. " That we aint," an- 
swered a second ; " some are Romans, and some Pro- 

" We are after hunting a hare, ma'am." 

" And what will you do if you take one ? — divide it 
among you ?*' 

" The dogs kills it, ma'am; and the one that picks it 
up first gits it ; but if two gits hold at once, they 
fights till one bates the other, and then he carries it 
off; so that's the way, ma'am." 

"But," said the laughing one, "will ye take me 
with ye to America ?* 

'* And what could I do with you ? I am not going 

" O take me along, and when ye eat, give me some- 
thing — ^that's all, ma'am, I'd want ; and so I'd^ always 
be about ye ; d'ye see, ma'am ?" 

"And couldn't ye get through the gate? Come, 
and we'll open it for ye." 

They did so, and a light-keeper's wife, young and 
pleasant, with a neat shoe and open thin stocking, with 
prayer-book in hand, going to church met me. 

" You have not seen the light-house under the 
rock, ma'am, which is the greatest curiosity in all this 
country." Of this I had heard nothing before. " You 
should return and see it when the lamps are lighted." 

It was now church-time. I returned to town, in 
company with the young woman and laughing boy, 
who kept near us down the mountain, a distance of 
two miles ; then leaping over a wall, he left us for 
chapel. Returning to my lodgings, the woman had 
locked the door of my room, and gone to mass, and I 
was compelled to wait the return of the light-house 
keeper in the kitchen, till both church and mass were 
ended. Twilight was gathering, and the young stran- 
ger had not called as she promised, and taking a few 
tracts and a Douay-translation for the old man, I 
ascended the mountain, and entering the cabin, was 
cordially welcomed. The gift was gratefully received, 

214 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. xii. 

and the daughter of the old man accompanied me on, 
till reaching a gate we met a young man well dressed, 
with Homer's Iliad in his hand, who politely showed 
us through the gate to the rock, where in the morning 
I had lost two tortoise-shell combs, when singing to 
the boys. The mountain linguist found them, and then 
read aloud the tract, " The worth of a dollar." He 
was a good reader, and when I offered the tract as a 
donation, he answered, "I thank you, ma'am; I have a 
good library at home, and you had better present it to 
some one who has no books." I was now forced to 
resort to the strange fact, that has often been related 
of Ireland, that among her wildest mountains and 
glens shepherd boys are found reading and talking 

Darkness was gathering, and showing me through 
the gate, my learned linguist and cabin-girl bade me 
a good night, and returned to their smoky abodes in 
the mountain ; and a short walk led me to the light- 
house, and an apology from the young mother, that she 
was a stranger in town, and could not find my lodg- 
ings, corrected all suspicions. 

" Will you see the light-house under the rock ?* I 
followed the wary steps of my courteous pioneer and 
her two little ones, till she led me to the top of the 
awful precipice. A high wall was on the right, and 
stone stairs made the descent safe, and the wall partly 
kept from the view the awful abyss at our feet ; when 
we had descended thirty or more steps, the wall 
turned and passed before us, and peeping over, the top 
of the light-house in the deep below met our eyes, as 
if actually coming out of the gulph beneath, and cast- 
ing its glaring light upon the dark waters around. A 
kind of horror mixed with admiration came over me ; 
the first impression being, that this was a picture of 
the abode of the lost ; but looking up over the top of 
the rock, I saw the crescent moon looking down with 
such complacency, that I knew the despairing were not 
there. I gazed in silence, for I had nothing to say. 

At the bottom of this frightful precipice, a tabu- 


lar rock juts into the sea, on which the light-house 
stands. Sufficiently broad is this rock for the neat 
little dwelling house of the keeper, sheltered from the 
wild winds, which are often blowing furiously over the 
precipice above. "When I had wondered and wondered 
again, I was introduced into the cottage of the keeper, 
who kindly showed me into the light-house, and ex- 
plained the principle on which it is built. Government 
has mercifully provided this guide, at the bottom of 
this dangerous precipice. While the one from the top 
tells the mariner, at a great distance, that difficulties 
are near, the one at the bottom kindly shows him how 
to avoid them. Four paid keepers are here, two 
Catholics and two Protestants, with salaries that give 
them a genteel support, accompanied with but a little 
labour. Mr. Page took me a winding path up the 
rock, avoiding the steps, and I tarried with the young 
guide, meeting again the laughing boy, who had fol- 
lowed me in the morning; and who fixed himself behind 
my chair, pulling my dress at every pause, and whis- 
pering, " Won't ye sing, ma'am, and take me along 
with ye when ye go ?" I actually sung in self-defence, 
for he would not take a denial ; and at every close he 
laughed outright by way of chorus. " Pat," said the 
young housekeeper, " keep your laughing till the lady 
is done." Pat heeded not, but laughed on at every 
pause, turning my grave psalmody into the highest 

The scene now changed ; clouds suddenly covered 
the heavens, and furious winds howled dismally through 
the night. " You see," said the keeper, " the necessity 
and mercy of these lights. Storms like these are 
often howling, and they come so suddenly, that vessels 
would be in continual danger without them." 

The next day 1 dined on kale and excellent potatoes 
at the house of a Boman Catholic, who was one of the 
four keeping the light-houses, and father to the merry 
Pat, whom they had excluded from my presence, 
because " he is bold, ma'am ; he is a bold boy." The 
lateness of the hour urged my departure from this 

216 CO. OF WICKLOW. [chap. xn. 

hospitable place, and peeping into the bam where the 
banished Pat was busied, I told him he must sober his 
face, for I was going to leave him. And the question, 
" Why don't you tcie me along ? and ye aint going 
without me ?" made me hurry, lest he should be in 
pursuit I was left at the gate by the husband of my 
young Protestant guide, with a "Grod bless ye," to 
combat with furious winds and pelting rain. Hurry- 
ing to the cabin of the graceful old man, he said, ^< And 
rjl show ye to the gate, for the night'll be heavy on 
ye, and the road *11 be muddy under your fut." The 
road was indeed muddy, and cracked stones had been 
put on for a mile, which made the walking almost 
intolerable* It was a long, dreary, bewildering walk, 
and a " Welcome, welcome !" at the door of my lodg- 
i°g» " ye'r destroyed," was a gladsome salute to my 

The town of Wicklow, with its narrow unpaved 
streets, presented few enticements to a stranger ; but 
her glens, her richly cultivated fields, bordering on 
the sweet Vale of Ovoca I had traversed before, were 
pleasant mementoes; and now the wild mountains, with 
my graceful old man, light-houses, and the laughing 
boy, were increasing the load of pleasant and painfid 
remembrances, which, in spite of all stoicism, did force 
a womanish tear from my eye. 

January \^ih — Arose early to depart, and felt a 
regret at leaving so kind a home and so interesting a 
woman. In search of knowledge she was hungering 
and thirsting, at times insensible to anything else ; 
dropping her Douay gospels when a customer entered, 
with her handkerchief wrapped about it, and catching 
it up the moment her shop was vacated. I left a small 
Bible on the counter one morning, to go out and spend 
the day, and the next morning I heard her telling the 
story of Joseph to a servant with the most minute 
correctness. ** Pray," said she, " that I may not lose 
my soul," as she grasped my hand for the last time. 
I had a three miles' walk before I could reach the 
coach in anticipation, with a boy to carry my bag, and 

[chap. xn. CO. OF WEXFORD. 217 

should have mentioned that the hostess would take 
nothing for mj food, and but little for mj lodging. I 
reached the stopping place of the coach in good time 
to give a temperance lecture to a company of travellers, 
who were taking their punch ; at first they made light 
of it, but soon became sobered when I cited them to 
the judgment, where we must all appear. And here 
allow me to say to Bible readers, that never in all my 
tour did I fail of a patient hearing among the most 
incorrigible or trifling, whenever I solemnly cited them 
to a day of final retribution. They seem to have a 
most solemn awe of a judgment to come, and the 
obligation they are under to a Saviour for his death 
and sufferings. I had a great and attentive audience, 
with a multitude of " God bless and speed ye on your 
way ; for sure ye're a wonderful body, and the like of 
ye never was seen." A good seat on the coach, and a 
pleasant ride through Rathdrum, Arklow, Gorey, and 
Enniscorthy to Wexford, made me forget I was a 
passing stranger in a strange land. At Gorey, an 
intelligent Irishman got upon the coach ; he was full 
of talk and pleasantness, gave me much information of 
the places we passed, offered to find me a good lodging 
house, and show me the town of Wexford the next 

It was dark when the coachman blew his horn at 
the town, and my talkative companion, after repeated 
efforts to procure private lodgings, sent me with the 
coachman to the o£&ce, with the promise to send a man 
and find a lodging, which was done by placing me in a 
hotel. This was unpleasant ; for a solitary female feels 
herself more in a crowd, and cannot mingle with the 
inmates at all, to get or give information ; but here I 
was kindly treated, had a parlour and bed-room en- 
tirely to myself, a kind servant to do all, staid twenty- 
four hours, had two meals of potatoes, milk, and salt, 
and the whole for a shilling. It was a well ordered 
house, conducted by two young sisters, orphans, who 
were left in charge of this by their father ; and to the 


218 CO. OF WEXFORD. [chap. xn. 

stranger I would say, call at the Farmer's Hotel at 
Wexford, for comfort and respectability. 

In the afternoon looked into a poor cabin. The 
woman received me kindly, but seemed depressed with 
poverty, said her husband had had no work for weeks. 
She had two children in an infant school, one seven and 
the other five ; and though the eldest had been there 
years, and the youngest months, yet neither of the two 
could read.* Curiosity led me to this infant school ; 
found them eating dinner, with each a huge potato in 
the left hand, and a tin cup of soup, out of which they 
were supping from the right. This was an additional 
proof of the habit I had often noticed in the Irish in 
America, that they always prefer eating the potato 
from the hand as bread, to using a knife and fork. 
This was a Protestant parochial school; but moi*e 
Catholics in attendance than Protestants; and the 
teacher observed that the Bible was daily read ; '^ and I 
find the children of the Catholics much more ready in 
the Scriptures than the Protestants, and make me 
much less trouble in getting their lessons. I cannot 
account for the fact, but so it is." The circumstance 
is easily explained. The Scripture which is expounded 
to them by their spiritual guides, is impressed as being 
of the most awful importance, and its consequences of 
the most weighty import ; and when they get access 
to this testimony of God, they are prepared to treat it 
as such. The Protestant child relishes it no better 
than a stale piece of bread and butter, which he is 
often forced to eat as a punishment, when his stomach 
is already satiated. An intelligent gentleman from 
Dublin remarked, he was whipped through the Bible 
by a Protestant uncle when a child, and had hated it 
ever since. 

Returning to the kind woman, she went in pursuit 
of lodgings, and inquiring at five, the sixth took me in 
for sixpence a night. The woman was poor, her house 

* Through all Ireland I had noticed, that few good readers 
could be found, either among children or adults; but the 
writing in general was good. 

CHAP, xm ] CO. OF WEXFORD. 219, 

was tidj, and I stopped with her, found she managed 
discreetly with her little all, and was extremely anxious 
about her young children, that they might be well 
educated. " I send them," said she, " to a Protestant 
school, because it is the best one. God be praised, my 
parents never lamt me to read, and my children shall 
not be bred in such ignorance." Darkness was over 
her mind, but it was darkness that. was felt I read to 
her a tract, and some of the most touching passages of 
Christ's life, which filled her with admiration ; thinking 
me a Catholic, she added, " You know none can be 
saved out of our church, but yet I have lived with so 
many good Protestants that I could not see why they 
are not as good Christians as we, and why can they 
\iot be saved if they do right?" Telling her all that 
fear God and work righteousness will be saved, and 
that I had determined to take Christ for example, and 
his word for a guide, and obey neither priest nor 
minister no farther than they obeyed God, " Ye are 
right, ye are right," was the answer. She was in her 
own way truly religious, and watchful over her temper, 
and a better pattern than many who are much in 
advance in a knowledge of the world and books. Her 
husband is a drunkard, had gone to Dublin in pursuit 
of work, spent his money, and was torturing her with 
entreaties for more. Father Mathew has much to do 
yet to redeem Ireland from the curse of whiskey, for 
in high life it retains a deadly grasp. 


Public Buildings in Wexford— Unexpected Delay— American 
Family — A Rare Lady — Appreciation of Teachers — ^Doctors 
differ — Delightful Family — Over-lading of Vehicles — ^Wa- 
terford — Clonmel — Car Travelling and Companions on the 
Road — ^Lodgings in Cork. 

Thursday, January I6th — Another bright morning 
dawned^ and I improved it by walking to the chapel, a 


22a CO. OP WEXFORD. [chap. xni. 

fine one with a friars* convent and library attached to 
it. At a little distance is the nunnery. Over the 
town on the hill stands the college, a splendid estab- 
lishment; the chapel has the most splendid stained 
window I had seen in all Ireland, and while admiring 
it, a devotee arose from his knees, accosted me civilly, 
and insisted I should go through the college, and then 
entered warmly into the merits of the church. Priests 
and students passed us, while, as each drew near, the 
ardour of the good man increased. Both logic and 
argument would here have been useless, and when the 
strength of feeling had subsided, for the want of 
opposition, he pointed me to the grand pile, containing 
coUege, chapel, the house of the priests, and a large 
house for the sisters of mercy which stands back of the' 
college. Seventy students are here, preparing for the 
priesthood under the instruction of priests. 

A holy well is on the way side between the college 
and town, but the virtues of these wells are somewhat 
on the wane ; the priests are not encouraging a resort 
to them, and but now and then a solitary devotee is 
seen kneeling beside their sacred waters. 

From the college I went to the jail, and found my 
complaisant coach passenger giving orders to his men, 
who were building a large addition to the prison. He 
showed me the cells of debtors and criminals, which 
are exceedingly clean and well ventilated ; the pave- 
ments about the doors and yards were tastefuUy laid 
out in flowers made of small stones, and at one door 
was the Irish harp and «* Erin go bragh." Finding a 
school here, where the young found guilty of petty 
theft are instructed, I gave each of them tracts, and 
some portions of Scripture, and distributed them 
throughout the cells. The prisoners are all at work 
or at school when not sick ; a novel sight to see shops 
in a common jail, and all kinds of trade going on, and 
a regular routine of education. I was introduced into 
a room called " Master Debtors," such as pay their own 
board, or rather such as find themselves. Two women 
were here in a pleasant room ; one, the widow of a 

cnAp. xra.] CO. OF WEXFORD. ^1 

British officer, had accompanied her husband to the 
West Indies, was intelligent, and seemed quite aston- 
ished at seeing me, supposing that I had come as an 
inmate. Mj laughing guide enjoyed it much, claiming 
the honor of bailiff. The bedsteads were all of iron, 
with comfortable coverings, a shower-bath, and a good 
pump of water near hj. The women and girls, which 
were put in for petty theft, were sewing and knitting 
in a pleasant room. Their thieving was mostly for 
taking potatoes, driven by hunger to desperation, or 
some trifling article to exchange for food. Yet on the 
whole the place looked little like a house of punish- 
ment, and doubtless most of them were in a better 
condition than when at home. 

From the jail, I went to the poorhouse alone. This 
stands upon a hill on the west side of the town, in a 
healthy romantic spot. The paved walks, with pebbles 
put in like those at the jail, flrst attracted attention. 
A middle-aged woman at the entrance begged for a 
" ha'penny to buy snuff." Telling her if she had food 
for her mouth, her nose would do quite well without 
feeding, and that I should do very wrong to give it to 
her for that purpose, she went away amazed. The 
matron approaching, I inquired if I could be shown 
the rooms. ** Do you wish to be taken in ?" she asked. 
" Not exactly then," I answered, " though I might 
wish to soon. I had come from America to see the 
country, its institutions, manners, and customs." She 
apologised, and took me into the hall, where the 
children were being seated at dinner. Three pounds 
of potatoes and a pint of buttermilk to each, << enough," 
I said to the keeper, "to well nigh cram them to 
death." The commissioners were entering to inspect 
the rooms. I was admitted among them, and shown 
the apartments. Seventy were on the sick list, many 
with eruptions occasioned by cleansing the skin, and 
giving clean food ;* the old women all begging for a 

* This is well known to physiologists, that cleansing the 
skin, and using coarse bread will throw off all impurities of 
the blood, and when these impurities appear upon the surfiace 
it is a favourable symptom. 

222 CO. OF WEXFORD. [chap. xiii. 

" ha'penny to buy snuff,** till it was truly disgusting. 
Tobacco in Ireland is one of its greatest curses ; it is 
a mania infecting all classes, from the lord to the 
beggar ; and thousands are now strolling the streets 
in hunger, when they might be made comfortable in a 
poorhouse, because they are forbidden to use this 
nasty weed. 

I offered some tracts to a company of boys who were 
making shoes, when an overseer interfered, " We take 
no tracts here, madam. Your books may be good, and 
your tracts good ; but we have a valuable library and 
good schools. Here, sir," turning to the teacher, 
" take this lady along, and show her the books." After 
showing me the library, specimens of books, &c. I was 
politely handed out, and departed, feeling that an 
embargo had been laid on my inquiries and investiga- 
tions, which I had met no where else in Ireland. 

Friday — A tremendous rain kept me in, writing tp 
American friends, and on Saturday went to the steam 
packet office, to secure a passage for Waterford. The 
packet had not arrived; I felt a little disappointed, 
and hardly knew where to direct my steps. My 
lodgings were gloomy, and my work in Wexford was 
done, and a longer stay would be but a punishment 
and loss of time. " It may be for something that I am 
detained, which will cause me to be thankful,** I 
doubtingly said, when crossing the threshold of the 
infant school I had previously visited. " You had better 
visit the parochial school," said the teacher. I went 
because I had nothing else to do, and found a school of 
boys supported by the Protestant church. The rector 
and curate came in to catechise them ; the rector was 
thorough in his investigations, and faithful in imbuing 
their young minds in the holy principles of the Chris- 
tian belief, as inculcated in the English church. Learn- 
ing that I was an American, he said, " You should 
visit a family of Americans here; the mother has 
lately come from there." This was a fresh impetus, 
and without preface or apology, I turned my steps 
towards the " Hermitage," the place where lived the 

CHAP, xm.] CO. OF WEXFORD. 223 

American ladj. The mud was intolerable, and standing 
nearly over the tops of my boots in it, I demurred 
whether to proceed, when my country prevailed, and I 
made an onward effort. A peasant with a cart, wife, 
child, and other et ceteras, now called out, '^ May be 
you'd get up on the cart a bit," and gladly I accepted, 
and was carried to a better road, and soon found the 
gate, which opened upon an extended lawn, presenting 
a wholesome and somewhat tasty house, a little, as I 
would have it, in American style. 
' My sanguine expectations were a little repulsed, at 
the distant reception with which my warm salute was 
returned by the widow and her daughter. They could 
not trust their eyes, ears, or my testimony, that a jour- 
ney from New York could bring a solitary female to 
visit Ireland. A meek, unassuming woman entered 
the parlor, attired so unostentatiously, that I supposed 
her some kind of necessary appendage to the family. 
" Did you come to see the poor of Ireland ? I love the 
name of those that love my Master." Supposing she 
was one of the poor, I spoke kindly, and she gave me 
her hand and went out. "Lady Nevin," said the 
widow, when she was out, " lives in the Hermitage, and 
is a pattern of goodness to us all. She said truly, 
when she told you she loved those who loved her Mas- 
ter, for she is continually visiting the poor, administer- 
ing to their wants, and talking to them of the Love of 
Christ." A strange lady surely ! such an one I had 
not met in Ireland, and when afterwards I visited the 
Hermitage, and saw her meek, unassuming manner, 
her simplicity of dress, and the arrangement of her 
house, and heard her kind words of the poor about her, 
my heart said. Would that all the titled ones of Ireland 
had been with Christ, and learned of Him like this 
disciple ! Then would this poverty-stricken isle sing for 
joy and gladness. 

The American family had been introduced to Ireland 
by the estated gentleman, whose parentage was some- 
what pretending, but who, by a natural defect of the lip, 
could not speak clearly, which doubtless had served to 

224 CO. OF WEXFORD* [chap. xih. 

keep in subjection that pride which is too much the off- 
spring of high birth, and caused his good sense, clear 
judgment, benevolence, conscience, and firmness to have 
full scope, and made him the Protestant gentleman, if 
not the Protestant Christian. His wife was a genuine 
New Englander, trained in the land of " steady habits," 
(the state of Connecticut) and could not, would not 
like Ireland. Her husband had visited New York, and 
persuaded her to leave her country for himself and 
estate, and the mother, a widow, having no other child* 
had followed her. An adopted son, on whom they 
placed their affections, was the only little one that 
adorned their hearth. 

I was detained another week by the packet, and 
visited the scattered cabins in the neighbourhood, and 
heard an unanimous chorus of prayers and blessings 
bestowed on their kind benefactors, particularly the 
good Lady Nevin. The little adopted favorite led me 
one morning to his school ; over hedges and ditches, 
through bog and field, we made our way, to shorten the 
route, and reached at last the spot where the 

" Village Master taught his little school." 

He was a Catholic, and under a thread- bare coat, he 
carried a warm heart, and his head was not void of 
good common sense, clear discernment, and close think<^ 
, ing. " I despise the principle," said he, " of censuring 
a man because he does not attend the same church or 
chapel with myself. Let me see him love his country, 
and do by his neighbour as a christian, let me see him 
love mercy and practice justice, and it is enough," 

The little boy of my friends was the only Protestant 
child in his school, and when I invited the teacher to 
call upon us, his answer was not only indicative of 
high and noble sentiment, but a stinging rebuke on 
American practices in this country. " I thank you ma- 
dam, for your politeness, but I never put it in the power 
of aristocracy to treat me with contempt. Should I 
visit your friends, my dinner would be laid in the 
kitchen with the servants, and my society be the 

CHAP, xm.] CO. OF WEX¥OED. 225 

gardener and groom." I was not prepared to believe 
him, and on my return mentioned it to the mistress, 
who replied, " It would be so ; my husband would not 
allow me to act otherwise, and I have never invited him 
to the house for the same reasons. I am much pleased 
with the instruction he has given our son, and should 
be gratified in showing him respect, but the laws of so- 
ciety in which we move forbid it." 

I begged her, as an American, to show her husband 
a " more excellent way," if possible. I pointed her to 
the country she so much loved, where teachers are 
ranked in the highest grades of society, and to whom 
the child is ever pointed as a stimulus to exertion, 
knowing that as the teacher is prized, so will be the 
instructions he gives, for it is an established law, that 
Ihe stream never rises above the fountain, and this ac- 
counts in part why the common people of Ireland are 
so content without education, and why so few among 
them, whoare in a way of instruction, arise to eminence. 
A teacher whose salary compels him to wear a ragged 
coat, is a sorry profession hung out for the child to 
acquire, and a daily spectacle of indifference if not dis- 
respect. A twenty-pound salary, coarse boots, rusty 
hat, and a potato eaten from hand in the kitchen ! 

Again went to town to secure a passage, and found 
three intelligent young ladies, who were sisters, em- 
ployed in acts of mercy for the poor, and who assured 
me that though reduced in circumstances, they should 
never be lowered in society, because descended from 
" high blood." " I acknowledge no high blood but the 
blood of Christ," was my answer. While stopping 
with these sisters, a summons arrived from no mean 
quarter, requesting urgently my appearance at the 
house of a high Protestant lady, full of zeal for the 
church and compassion for the poor. I went with a 
budget of sorrowfuls, to lay down at her feet, gathered 
from her suffering nation, but no sooner was I admitted, 
but the ** tout ensemble" of the lady told me I had 
brought my parcel to the wrong shop. 

** Madam, you are an American, I hear, and I have 

L 3 

226 CO. OF WEXFORD. [chap. xm. 

sent for you to learn from your own lips what brought 
you to this country." 

« To learn the true condition of the poor Irish at 
home, and ascertain why so many moneyless, half- clad, 
illiterate emigrants are daily landed on our shores." 

Inadvertently using the word cppressiony I feared a 
retreat would be my only security. 

<< Oppression ! So you have come to Ireland to stir 
the muddy waters, have you 7" 

<< To look at them as they are, madam." 

" Oppression ! The Irish are not oppressed but by 
their nasty religion." 

" But does their religion compel them to work for 
six or eight pence a day, and eat their potatoes on the 
side of a ditch? Does it compel them to reclaim 
a bog, for which they are paying twice the value, 
without the encouragement of a lease for their im- 
provements ? And does it compel them to pay a tenth 
for the support of a religion which they neither be- 
lieve or hear ?" 

The tempest was now at its height, and I only suc- 
ceeded in adding, that had I dropped from the moon 
upon this island, without any previous knowledge, 
whether men or angels inhabited it, and surveyed 
these beautiful domains sprinkled over its surface, 
and seen the walking rags l^at by hedge and by ditch, 
in bog and in field, are covering the length and breadth 
of the land, I must have known that these fields had 
been " reaped down for nought." 

A cessation of arms for a moment ensued to admit a 
visitor, who by her low courtly bow and long train 
told us she had dabbled if not dashed in high life. 
Seating herself in a corner, she listened with intense 
interest while the good lady resumed the subject, and 
remarked, that the poor in Wexford are both com- 
fortable and happy. The stranger arose, and, with 
another low bow, said, << I must go« madam ; the poor 
in Wexford are in a most sufiering state ; I have been 
this morning into the fishermen's cabins ; the fishery 

CHAP, xm.] CO. OF WEXFORD. 227 

has all failed, and they sit desolate and idle, without 
food or fuel." 

This was an unexpected indisputable letting down 
of the whole argument, and at this loop-hole I made 
mj escape, without an invitation either to stop longer, 
or call again. 

Returning at night through mud and tempest, I 
found a quite different commodity in the person of a 

Mrs. P , whose two young daughters are the 

'' polished stones," which might adorn any palace 
where grace and virtue reside. 

"You find poor Ireland," she said, "in deep afflic- 
tion ; and can you see any 'way to better her con- 
dition?" An invitation to her house was accepted, 
and I then found that the love of kindness was not 
only upon her lips, but in her heart ; her house and 
family were so well regulated, that I could see no cause 
for improvement, and I feared my stay would be made 
quite too pleasant. The lawn before the door, with its 
pile of wild rocks — the bird that tamely sat upon the 
window-seat each morning for its crumbs — the sheep 
and the goat that licked the hand of the sweet girl 
that caressed them — ^the poney that lapped the cheek, 
and the spaniel that lay at the feet of these children of 
kindness, added to the cheerful comfort of the well- 
paid, well-fed, faithful domestics, made this house 
to me a little Bethel. One Sal^bath was spent in it, 
and it was o^e of profitable quiet rest ; the domestics 
and children the day previous had anticipated its 
approach, and^ by loug habit, had made all things 

The mother, daughters, and myself rode upon a car 
to church, through the deer-park and well laid out 
lands of a lord, who is not an absentee, but stays 
at home, making his tenants comfortable. A sick 
curate gave us a sickly sermon; his stinted salary 
gave no spur to rhetorical flourishes or well-turned 

* I have mingled in families of all classes, in different coun- 
tries, and have never found one of good order, refined manners, 
and strict morality that did not regard the Sabbath. 

228 CO. OF WATERFORD. [chap. xni. 

periods, and his sunken cheek and husky voice warned 
of hasty dismission to another, more permanent parish. 
On our way home, a mile distant from each other, we 
passed two fools, who lived upon the street, and were 
better clad than their more sensible neighbours of the 
labouring class, strong and hearty, good-natured, and 
always welcome to the inhabitants, for their innocent 
mirth and ready wit, which would have made them 
well qualified for king's fools. 

At evening I must say adieu to this pleasant widow 
and lovely family, and return to town to my old lodgings. 
My American friend arrived with a huge piece of 
plumb-cake, of my own baking at her house, and being 
laden with kind wishes, a boy, cart, and ass were 
equipped cap-a-pie to conduct me thither; but not 
without " casting many a longing look behind " did I 
leave this spot, going out I scarcely knew whither. 

The next day 'was spent with the three sisters, who 
prepared me coarse bread and cocoa for my journey on 
the morrow, which saw me depart, packed upon a car, 
with a sailor on one side and a quiet josy on the other, 
who kept his terra Jirma without any variation, occa- 
sionally saying, ** I'm afaid ye're crush'd, ma'am," and 
this continued for thirty-three miles to the old town of 
Waterford. The unmerciful loading of cars and 
coaches in Ireland, the whipping and driving to << keep 
up to time," has no parallel in any country I have 
travelled. A lame and worn-down horse is often 
loaded with six and seven passengers, and all necessary 
b^gg&g^) often with a galled back, and then beaten till 
I have, when expostulation was unavailing, jumped 
from a car, ready to resolve I never would ride a mile 
upon any vehicle drawn by a horse, while in the 
country. It is true, merciful men have enacted merci- 
ful laws against cruelty in the country, and these laws 
are sometimes enforced ; yet still, could the dumb ass 
*< rebuke the madness" of these Irishmen as often as he 
is unmercifully beaten, Ireland would have talking 
asses, added to her incongruities, in every part of the 

CHAP, xin.] CO. OF TIPPERARY. 229 

My stay in Waterford was short. A walk through 
and over the town gave me a view of its buildings, 
and entrance into the cabins a sight of its misery. 
One poor Englishwoman told me she was a Protestant, 
but appeared to know no more the meaning of the 
word, or the way of life and salvation, than did the 
seat on which she was sitting. And lamentable as it 
is, the lower class of Protestants, wherever I have met 
them in Ireland, are more ignorant of their religion 
than the same class among the Catholics. Their 
teachers do not pay the attention to the poor of 
the flock, as the ever-watchful Catholics do ; and the 
prayer-book, mumbled over at church, is the only pilot 
many among them think necessary to take them safely 
into port. 

I saw nothing here of particular note, but the quay, 
which is convenient and handsome, and an old round 
tower for the transient confinement of unruly persons, 
bearing date 1003 marked upon its dingy front. • The 
house where I lodged could boast little else but filth, 
and the people who resorted to it vulgarity, and at 
three in the afternoon again took a car for Clonmel. 
I had now again reached the depot of Bianconi's 
monopoly, and found sound and lame horses, double 
and single cars, with aprons " tattered and torn," and 
dilapidated seats, defaced by long friction, still adding 
to his purse, while his coachmen, thrown upon the 
public with tenpence and a shilling a day, if not ask- 
ing for rent, are "looking daggers" at every passenger 
who ventures to leave without a shilling ; yet Bianconi 
is a " noble man." " All men will speak well of thee, 
when thou doest well for thyself." 

I was tremendously crowded, but said not a word, 
for I had found that silence in all troublesome cases 
was the best defence and only remedy. A stopping 
place packed another talkative, would-be-learned Irish- 
man at my right ; and as the stars looked out upon us, he 
turned to a neighbour, and talked scientifically of the 
planet Jupiter, and his moons, ventured a little upon 
the ring of Saturn, and ended with an ardent wish to 

230 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xra. 

see Lord Rosse's telescope. So sorry was I when the 
lecture ended, that had it not been presuming for 
a woman to know that the moon is not a pot of 
curds and cream, I should have proposed a question or 
two, to have kept alive the conversation. 

A night in Clonmel was spent, a good portion of it 
in seeking a lodging-place, my kind friend O'ConnoUy 
accompanying me, and at last a tolerable one was 
found for sixpence, and early on the morrow, I took a 
Bianconi for Cork. A long ride of fifty miles in a 
snowy wintry day, on an open car, with the wind 
blowing full in my face, and my seat the next one to 
the horses, made me more than willing to reach the 
city. About mid-day passengers were exchanged, and 
a young Englishman, a young boarding-school miss 
from Dublin, and a spruce Dublinite, fresh from the 
army, with two dogs, a big and little one, were seated 
upon the car, the larger one, dog-like, sitting upon the 
seat, the small one upon his master's lap. We had 
proceeded but a few miles, when a huge Groliath, with 
brandy-blotched face, and beef-eating front, made 
application for a seat, and the senior dog was trans- 
ferred to a box over my head. The restless animal, 
tied to the box, had no certain resting place but 
on my shoulders or bonnet, and at every jostle of the 
car, his talons took a fresh grip of the foundation be- 
neath him. Twenty miles, in this deplorable plight, 
brought us at nine o'clock to Cork. 

Enquiring of the coachman for a lodging-house, he 
said he could procure a clean one, and sent his son as 
a guide, who led me through a dark alley into a house, 
whose very threshold was most frightful, and the room 
itself more so; and shrinking back, and saying, "I 
think I will not stop," the coachman peremptorily said, 
" show her a room." Giving a hasty peep into the 
bed-room, he added, " you can give this lady a clean 
bed," and then hurried down stairs, leaving me stand- 
ing like a petrified statue, to take my own time and 
my own way. Looking in, if my astonished eyes 
needed any thing to make out the picture, here were 

CHAP, xm.] CO. OF CORK. 231 

the materials. But what is the use of conferring with 
" flesh and blood," when there is no alternative ? My 
fate was irrevocably fixed for the night, and demur- 
ring would neither change the place nor remove the 
pain, and collecting myself, I enquired if I could have 
a few potatoes. They were boiled, and put upon 
a dish with a cup of salt ; and disrobing them of their 
coat with my fingers, my supper was soon made. And 
here, by way of admonition and comfort, allow me to 
say to all whom it may concern, whenever your adven- 
turous lot, like mine, may be cast in the mountains of 
Ireland, where bread is scarce, and flesh none, the 
inside of a potato is the safest and surest defence 
against not only the inroads of hunger, but other 
doubtful etceteras, which (begging pardon) a filthy 
cabin and exceptionable cabin-keeper might present. 

The family consisted of husband and wife, grand- 
mother, and five intelligent interesting children, which 
would have adorned a better nursery. They gathered 
about me, to see and read the books ; and the eldest, a 
lad of fourteen, took a small Testament, and read to 
the parents the four first chapters of Matthew, for 
they could not read. The dread of an ingress to the 
bed-room kept me conjuring new schemes to divert 
the children till a late hour, but it must be en- 
countered. The coachman was obeyed, for I had 
dean blankets to my bed, though some bushels of 
potatoes were under the foot of it. By pulling away a 
dirty cloth, which served for a pane of glass, and 
removing an unmentionable or two, in a half hour my 
olfactory nerves had no cause for complaint, and never 
had I slept sweeter in cabin or hotel. 

In the morning, eating a couple of potatoes, through 
snow and sleet, I made my way to the house of a 
Baptist minister, passed the day ; and here, though a 
table was spread with knives, forks, and plates, pota- 
toes and salt was my hap alone, for bread at a dinner 
is not the accompaniment where potatoes and fiesh 
are provided. The father returned at evening, and 
accompanied me to his vestry, to attend a prayer- 

232 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xiv. 

meeting, and recommended a lodging-place, which was 
a happy contrast to the last night's encounter, and 
where I found the missionaries Jassom, Howe, and 
the widow of the unfortunate man that was accidently 
shot at Otaheite. Mrs. Fisher, the lady who kept the 
house, entered most deeply into my undertakings, and 
ceased not to do what she could, during my pleasant 
stay in Cork. Her feelings for the stranger did not 
die in empty words ; she acted. 


Reception from Father Mathew — The Aged Nun — Temper- 
ance Tea Party— Danger of becoming a Public Character — 
One Source of the Reverence paid to the Priest — ^UrsuUne 
Convent and its Elegancies — Sail to Cove — ^Beautiful Bay — 
Search for Dr. Power — The Begging Whine — Trip to Blar- 
ney—Racy Old Priest—" The Blackguard Salt Herrings- 
Wonders of Blarney — Dr. Baxter's Hydropathic Establish- 
ment — Our Jolly Priest is no Teetotaller — Walk to Cove — 
Pleasant Little Maidens — Delightful time passed in Dr. 
Power's Family. 

Saturday/, Feb. \8t. — Called at Father Mathew's. 
His house is quite plain ; the hall -door is fastened 
open from six in the morning, till the same time in the 
evening, saying to the citizen and stranger, " ye are 
welcome." The carpet of the hall is loose straw,- and 
a woman sits at the entrance to receive and point the 
visitor to the room on the right, where the " rich and 
poor meet together," to take the pledge, or spend a 
leisure half hour, to watch the movements, and listen 
to the salutary cautions and words of kindness from 
the lips of this devoted man. My letter of introduc- 
tion had heen given him some months before, in a 
crowd, when he had only opportunity to say, " I will 
see you in Cork." 

" Why did you not come to me when you first came 
to the country ; you knew I would have taken care of 
you ?" was the greeting he gave, when I entered, 
f The room is entirely devoid of ornaments, except 

CHAP. xiT.] CO. OF CORK. 233 


the papers pasted upon the wall, as cautions to the in- 
temperate. Benches are arranged about the room for 
those in waiting, on one of which, in an obscure cor- 
ner, I took mj seat, and saw the lame and deformed, 
the clean and the filthy, the well-clad and the tattered, 
kneel and take the pledge, and enter their names in a 
book, which the clerk who registers them said counted 
five millions and four thousand. To the meanest beg- 
gar he speaks as kindly as to the titled gentleman, and 
to the sufiering I often saw him slip a little change, 
bidding them depart, and not disgrace him by break- 
ing the pledge. 

He invited me to dinner at five o'clock, and his 
dining-room wore the same unassuming appearance, 
as does every thing about him — no carpet, no sofa, and 
not an appendage but what was absolutely necessary. 
His table is arranged in the most finished order, and 
the cooking, which is done by a man, is of the best 
kind. He seldom dines alone. 

The next morning, at eight, he iiivited me to the 
chapel, to see an aged nun renew her vow, who had 
fifty years been teaching the poor, and had never been 
out of that convent. She approached the grating which 
separated the room from the chapel, with her black 
robe and veil upon her head, while the meek man con- 
gratulated her on her long faithfulness in labouring 
for the poor, and pointed her to the reward in heaven 
which he trusted was in store for her, gave her the 
thanks of the convent, and pronounced his benedic- 
tion. He spoke of crowning her, a ceremony usual on 
such occasions, but she refused the honour. She then 
renewed her vow in an audible but softened manner, 
promised to be faithful unto death, &c. The cere- 
monies closed, I then accompanied Father Mathew 
to the convent, where I had been invited to breakfast 
with him. The breakfast was the first I had seen in 
American style in Ireland, and though their beef- 
steak, cofiee, and other etceteras I declined, yet good 
cream, the best of bread, and jam made a palatable re- 
past. The nuns sat by the table, but did not eat, and 

234 CO. OF CORK. [chap, xiv; 

were surprised and distressed at my abstinence. I 
was here introduced to the nun who had renewed her 
vow ; and when she told me she was eighty-four, and 
not a furrow had old Time made in her plump placid 
face, I was compelled to take her word for it, for there 
was no other testimony. Father Mathew sent his 
man to show me the way to the Independent church, 
telling him to go in, and introduced me to the sexton. 

The next evening a temperance meeting was held 
in a neatly decorated room, prepared by the poor 
fishwomen, who were teetotallers. " You must go," 
said Father Mathew, "as you wish to see the poor. 
These women, five years ago, were the greatest 
nuisances in Cork ; but they took the pledge, and not 
one has broken it." 

I went. The rich, too, were there ; they had been 
invited because it was the poor who had made the 

The room was crowded ; tea was prepared, and the 
meeting was opened by three cheers for the Queen ; 
and I could not mention the unexpected kind feeling 
bestowed thus publicly on me, were it not a duty 
which I owe to a class of people whom 1 had ever 
been taught felt nothing but bitterness, and acted 
nothing but persecution to their opponents. But jus- 
tice, not sectarianism, must be my motto ; character, 
and not popularity, must be my watchword.* I was a 
Protestant, and they knew it. Father Mathew arose, 
and introduced me to the audience, telling them my 
object to Ireland was to visit the poor, and learn their 
true condition ; adding a sketch of my manner of 
travelling and living, which I had never told him. 

When the cheering and welcomes had subsided. 
Father Mathew, in a low voice, said, " you must speak 
to this people, you can do them good ; get up without 
delay, and tell them what you came for." My eyes 

* As the Boman Catholics in America are mostly from Ire- 
land, it is a desirable object to ascertain what this religion has 
done for them at home, and what character they manifest 
where it has been most cultured. 

€HAP. XIV.] CO. OF CORK. 235 

affected my heart ; I had never before seen such a re- 
spectable-looking company of the poor assembled in 
Ireland, and accompanied, too, with the rich and the 
noble, taking their tea together. I briefly stated my 
motives in visiting Ireland, congratulated them on the 
progress of the temperance cause, and sat down. 

An old grey-haired priest arose, and said, " I have 
read of prophets, I have read of apostles, I have read 
of martyrs, but among them all, I never read nor 
heard that ever a woman left her country alone, to 
search out a poor people — to suffer privation with 
them — to learn their true condition. What shall we 
do for her, and how shall we express our gratitude ?" 

This was reciprocated through the room, and when 
the meeting ended, not one of that great multitude 
would leave the house till each had given the hand to 
say, " welcome, welcome to our country .*' 

The next day, this old priest called at my lodgings. 
I was out, but he left a pressing invitation that I 
should visit his parish — said he was a poor man, and 
could give me nothing ; but would show me his people 
and the country,' and that he would happily do. He 
found me at Father Mathew's, and redoubled his invi- 
tations. The same evening a temperance meeting was 
held at the Kock. The promise was made that I 
should not be invited to speak ; that supper and music 
would occupy the time, and no speech-making. Not 
so ; Father Mathew again said, " do what you can for 
this people. Say what you feel, and say it as you 

The notices made of me in their papers, brought me 
before the public so prominently, that I begged them 
to desist. I had wished to go through Ireland as 
unobservedly as possible, asking no honorary atten- 

The city of Cork, as a whole, has much that is inter- 
esting. The houses upon the hill side, that overlook 
the main city, the Dyke with rows of trees for a mile 
and more, and the country-seats sprinkled in vale and 

236 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xiv. 

on mountain, show the observer that taste, as well aa 
wealth, has had something to do in the management. 

Upon Wellington-bridge I met an Irishman, who 
said, <' I have just got out of a bad scrape — ^have been 
to the churchyard with a hearse ; the horses took fright, 
and I was drunk, and was very near being killed." 
"Come with me to Father Mathew, and take the 
pledge." " I could not keep it," he replied, " and it 
would do no good." He had made his wife take it» 
but as for him there could be no hope. A priest then 
passed, when he touched his hat in a respectful man- 
ner. •* What honor you pay to these men. I see no 
touch of the hat when others pass." " Not to the man," 
said he, ** but to what he may have about him. He 
may have been to visit some dying person, and have 
some of the broken body of the Saviour around his 
person." The expression was to me so novel, that I 
said no more. 

Took dinner at Father Mathew's, and met an intel- 
ligent priest. A brother and young son of the apos- 
tle of Temperance were present. The order of the 
table, the nicely prepared vegetables and fruit, the 
social enlightened cheerfulness, with neither porter or 
wine as a stimulus, certainly would have honoured a 
Protestant clergyman's table, and made me ardently 
desire that they might " go and do likewise. 

Wednesday. — Visited the celebrated Ursuline con- 
vent at Black Bock. A note of introduction from 
Father Mathew, with the young twin sisters of the 
family who had once hospitably lodged me, for guides, 
made the walk pleasant ; and the reception was cordial 
at the convent. We found a spacious building on a 
rising ground, commanding a view of the Lee, and a 
company of healthy cheerful looking nuns, affable and 
intelligent, teaching a school of young ladies, and poor 
children. Pianos were in every room, and in some 
we found two ; every thing bore the appearance of 
comfort and good order, with much taste and style. A 
little, well selected museum, added much to the interest 
of the establishment ; and a more thorough education 


is here obtained, than in any other school. A nun 
played upon an organ with good taste; and a look 
into the chapel of the convent, richly fitted up, finished 
the views of this inside world, which, observed a nun, 
"as this is all the world to us, why should we not 
gather as much of its beauties as possible around us.** 
The extensive walks, shaded with trees, and well laid 
out garden, must compensate considerably for all with- 
out A dinner of pea-soup and toasted bread was to 
me a rich treat, but the twin sisters were forbidden by 
their church to partake, as it was Ash Wednesday, 
and a rigid fast was imposed. The poor girls fretted 
and murmured the long walk home, hoping such pe- 
nances would be " few and far between." In vain I 
preached cheerful submission as a test of obedience — 
that no bowing to church or priest — no long fasts or 
long prayers, would be available, if performed by com- 
pulsion, or to merit a reward. They did not understand 
my farfetched dogmas, and would not be persuaded, but 
that a day ofsufiering like that must meet an ample re- 
ward. The dinner- hour brought me to Father Ma- 
thew's table, where three kinds of fish, with puddings, • 
jellies, and fruits, were substitutes for pig, beef, and 
poultry, which Lent forbids. The fastings of both Ro- 
mans and Protestants are often more ludicrous than 
grave; for while the poor culprit takes a light breakfast 
for conscience' sake, he trebles hi^ supper for his sto- 
mach's sake, determining that the " sun shall not go 
down" till he is paid his wages. 

Thursday* — Took a lunch with a lady who had ex- 
pressed a desire to see me ; and this desire resulted in 
happy consequences to me, ever after while in Cork. 
After a pleasant interview, she made an appointment 
to visit Blarney on Saturday. I went out, took the 
steam packet for Cove. The prospect up the river was 
beautiful, giving the view of Black Bock, and the con- 
vent, Monkton, and itB tasteful cottages and pleasure 
grounds. Stepping ashore, I made my way alone up 
the hill, to the highest look-out upon the beautiful bay 
of Cove, and realized all that had been told me in 

CO. OF CORK. [chap. xiv. 

America by every visitor as well as by Irishmen, 
" that the Cove of Cork is not surpassed in beauty by 
any bay on our globe." Its islands and extensive 
reach, with its green shores, even in winter, looked 
like blooming lawns and summer shades, inviting the 
sannterer to bowers of repose ; and to every lover of 
scenery allow me to say, "Visit the Cove of Cork, 
fihould you ever take the tour of Ireland." 

Upon the top of the hill are springs of clear water, 
which send forth rivulets down its side, ever fresh and 
never failing, furnishing the dwellers on the sloping 
hill a supply the whole year. Enquiring of a woman, 
raising a bucket of water from one of these sparkling 
rivulets, if she could direct me to a lodging-house, 
one standing near responded, " You can give her one, 
and as clane a bed as in all Cove ;" and I had no cause 
to regret meeting these cottagers. The room was 
clean, the bed wholesome, and the charge moderate ; 
and at five I made my entrance into the town over a 
wall, down a precipice, partly by stairs, tp a range of 
cabins sheltered under the hill, and jutting into a nar- 
row path that bordered on the sea. Seeing a woman 
at her door, I asked, " Can you tell me where Doctor 
Power lives ?" Her answer was a piteous whine, that 
her husband had not been able to airn a sixpence for 
weeks, and begged me to go in and see ** the poor 
cratur." All this without a word of Doctor Power. 
When the question was repeated, and the answer, 
"Will ye walk in and spake to the man?" which 
savored so much of an attack upon my scanty purse ; 
that, saying I was in haste, and must find Doctor 
Power, I turned away, " And y'ill meet him a bit under 
yer fut," she called out in a healthy creditable tone. 
A seven month's travelling in Ireland had taught me 
a little discrimination. Begging, here, is so common 
and so respectable among the poor, that many resort 
to intrigues and petty ingenuities when they meet a 
stranger; which is a kind of dishonesty not only to the 
stranger, but to the thousands who, by the last extre- 
mity, are driven to this method to escape starvation. 


The next cabin with open door, I put in my head, 
and saw the mother with five children sitting upright 
in bed, all patting on their " apology *' for clothes ; and 
certainly no small nest was ever fuller. The good 
matron told me where I should find the house in 
question. I lingered long enough to learn that the 
father of this "joyous genealogy" had arisen an hour 
before out of the same bed, and gone to his work. Ye 
downy-bed sleepers, what say ye to this ? What say 
you to these your own countrymen? And "who 
maketh thee to differ ?" and " what hast thou that thou 
didst not receive ?" 

Enclosed among trees at the margin of the water, 
was the festooned cottage of Dr. Power, adorned with 
walks and shrubbery ; and at the door stood the titled 
gentleman and his lady, about to enter their carriage 
for an excursion to Cork. A letter of introduction 
from a brother of his in New York gave me a welcome 
reception, and stepping into their carriage, I went 
with them to Cork, promising a return in a few days. 

Mrs. P. is a genuine American, a daughter of the 
well known Judge Livingston of New York, amiable 
and courteous to aU. I was proud to find in one of my 
own country so much kindness, so much affability in 
rank so high. The doctor was an Irishman by birth, 
but had spent much of his early life in America, and 
imbued so much of republicanism, that respectability 
in coarse boots and jacket, received as hearty a grasp 
of the hand as when dressed in morocco or broad 

At ^YGy again seated at the hospitable board 'of 
Father Mathew, where I was daily invited to dine 
while in Cork. New guests were present each day, 
always accompanied by his brother, who was an over- 
seer of the workhouse. He was a promoter of morality 
and good order, and sympathised deeply in all the 
movements of temperance. 

Saturday^ February %ih — The kind Mrs. Danker 
called in her carriage, accompanied by a young lady 
and the only son of Mrs. D. a boy of seven, with a 

240 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xit. 

basket of eatables^ and I joined them on the promised 
tour to the far-famed Blarney. Our first depot, after 

a seven miles* ride, was to the door of Father , 

his name quite out of mind by looking at the man 
himself — a genuine Irish priest of the olden coin. He 
met us at the door with a three-cornered hat upon the 
top of his crown at a respectful distance from his ears, 
and so pliable at the corners, that it seemed bending 
to hear whatever the divine might wish to communi- 
cate. He carried a red full face, jolly countenance, 
with bone and muscle, aspiring to the weight of two 
hundred. He gave us a true Irish welcome, and 
ushered us into the kitchen till a fire would be made 
in his bed-room, which served, too, for drawing-room 
and parlor. " I'm allowed no wife and brats to privi- 
lege me with the comforts of a separate parlor ; and a 
poor parish priest must take his herring as he can get 
it. But this forty days Lent ! My heart is scalt and 
my tongue parched with this blackguard salt herring, 
and not a divil of a fresh bit of beef are we allowed ; 
and so you see I can set you no dinner but a bit of 
bread and cheese, and a fish." Assuring him we had 
plenty in our basket, he presented a bottle of wine 
with a volley of anathemas on tobacco, declaring that 
" no man that used it was fit for the divil." 

The old priest was a great antiquarian, could tell us 
all that had transpired in Ireland since the year 1, in 
natural or political history, the nature of all sorts of 
minerals and vegetables, and assured us that no man 
living knew these things so well. And besides, he 
had the best disciplined parish in all Ireland — the best 
fed and the most honest people in all the world. I 
was informed by others that this was all true. 

" If ye'U take no dinner, though I hate Blarney, yet, 
for the sake of this American, FU go and show ye, 
and walk with her while the ladies ride." For a mile 
my wondering ears were crammed with tales of ancient 
chieftains in Ireland's days of glory, till my ohs and 
ahs of wonder growing fainter, he ordered me into 
the coach to leave him to take a shorter route across 

CHAP. xiT.] CO. OF CORK. 241 

the meadow ; and soon the fat priest^ triangular hat, 
and dog, were lessening in the distance. But when 
we overtook him, and he found that his company were 
not allowed to take their carriage through the gate, his 
indignation was roused, that menials dependent on 
him should dare to use him thus. 

Now came Blarney, the celebrated Blarney, where 
many a name is carved; where lords and ladies« 
peasants and beggars, have strolled and sat. Here 
was the seat pointed to me, where Mrs. Hall, the 
writer on Ireland, rested ; and the old priest suggested 
the inspiration I might receive by sitting there on the 
same stone, by the same stone summer-house. The 
whole is a romantic spot; a hermit's cell of stone, 
where he slept — his kitchen, where he cooked, and the 
grave where he is buried, were all shown us. The 
rocking stone on which Prince Desmond was crowned, 
some centuries gone by ; ancient trees, seats of moss- 
covered stone of the richest green, running water, 
laurels and ivies, green lawns spread out, made it a 
place of the most pleasing interest. It belongs to the 
family of Jeffreys. Lady Jeffrey has improved it 
much. She passed ns while we were admiring, and 
told our guide to show us all that it contained. The 
grand castle containing the Blarney-stone is a great 
curiosity, standing as it does on an awfully high rock, 
overlooking the river far below it, deep, and winding 
its way among trees and thick grass. To me it was 
frightful to look out from a loop-hole, and see the river 
below ; and to climb to the top to kiss the Blarney- 
stone, stretching my neck out of the window over the 
dizzy steep, would have been madness, though I was 
told many a silly boy and girl had done it. 

When we had admired — for this was all we could 
ido, as the entrance to the inmost apartments was 
closed — we walked to the lake, and sat down to calm 
our excitement by its placid waters, while the little 
son of my friend was in playful glee sporting around us. 

We must and did leave, our priest hurrying home to 
arrange matters for our reception, while we went to 

242 CO. OF CORK. tcHXP. xxt. 

the cold-water establishment kept by Mr. Barter. To 
describe the apparatus would be impossible. In a 
circular, well-finished, thatched cottage, are the differ- 
ent douche and shower baths, warm and cold, prepared 
with the best finish. All manner of pouring and 
showering, plungings and washings, have here appro- 
priate fixtures. His spacious well-ventilated house 
for the reception of invalids, does credit to the owner, 
who told us that one hundred and sixty patients had 
made the experiment, and every one had been cured, 
and none but obstinate cases had applied. They are 
allowed no ardent spirits, tea, or coffee ; and flesh meat 
but once a day. The Doctor appeared to understand 
his business well, and is apparently a worthy philan- 
thropist. With regret I left this place, wishing for a 
longer and better acquaintance with the principles of 
this institution ; but night was gathering, and the 
patience of the old priest would be exhausted. We 
found him standing by the window of his bed-room, 
where he said he had stood two hours, till his " heart 
was scalded, " watching our return. And more than 
all, he had invited one of his curates and the doctor to 
dine with us, on his fish dinner. They had disap- 
pointed him, and everything was wrong. Three women 
of the peasantry were sitting upon the bed, by the side 
of a table, regaling themselves with bread, cheese, and 
whiskey, which the good Father assured us "they 
liked right well." 

We would not take dinner, and hot water was 
ordered for whiskey punch, and wine brought on. 
Now the battle commenced ; the jolly priest touched his 
three-cornered hat, at the same moment drinking my 
health most heartily, while I in surly contempt turned 
aside, without nodding to the salute. "Ah! she's 
disgusted, I know. Well, ma'am, if you'll appoint a day, 
I will make a party in my barn as big as I did for 
Mrs. Hall —one hundred and sixty — and you shall see 
my fine parish. But this fish, ma'am, that we are 
forced to eat through Lent, this fish, ladies ! WTiy, I 
kept Lent once, and ate nothing but salt herring, till I 

CHAP. xiv.J CO. OF CORK. 243 

was scalt entirely — I was a lump of salt, ladies " — 
then swallowing a glass of hot punch, " I am sorry you 
don't know what's good, ladies." This toasting and 
drinking were kept up till lateness and darkness both 
urged a departure. We were accompanied to the door 
by the loquacious priest, and a glass of hot punch for 
the coachman » who, in answer to my remonstrances, 
answered with an, "Aw, and I shall drive ye the 
better for wawrmin' my stomach a little." What can 
be said to coachmen, and laboring men, that will be 
available, when the " good creature " is presented by 
the holy hands of the priest or clergyman ? We had 
a safe ride home, though the rain was severe, and the 
night dark, the road muddy, and the driver's noddle 
steeped in hot punch. The point was settled on going 
home, that the day had been a more than interesting 
one ; and if the " well disciplined parish " of this jolly 
priest bore any resemblance to the training they had 
been under, a dinner at the bam would have been one 
of no ordinary relish.* 

The next day heard a prosing, common-place dis- 
course from the Baptist minister where I dined on the 
potato and salt, in which he said he had no sympathy 
for a religion that comes out in a certain color or cut 
of the dress, or particular kinds of meat and drink. 
This sentence was so entirely a digression from text 
or sermon, that I pocketed the rebuke for not partaking 
of the swine's flesh at his table, and " hoped to learn 
better manners as I get along." After service, taking 
a bundle of tracts, I walked to Cove. On my way, 
two little cleanly-dressed girls were before me, reading 
a collection of* Scripture admonitions from Father 
Mathew ; approaching them, I asked, " What are you 
reading, little girls ?" 

• I would not be unmindful of the kindness shown me bj 
this humorous priest, neither would I make or strive to make 
myself witty at his expense ; but I visited Ireland to see people 
and priest as they are, and here was too good a subject to be 
thrown away. It was true Irish coin, and I valued it not 
the less for appearing in its native dress. 

M 2 

244 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xiv. 

" Something, ma'am, that Father Mathew wrote." 
They had come out of chapel^ where thej had obtained 
this document from their priest. They were but chil- 
dren of ten and eleven, and the girl who was reading 
was no novice in the art. I presented each of them 
with a little book, and thanking me, delighted, they 
ran on to a company of girls before them, but soon re- 
turned, saying, " Here are more little girls who can 
read, and havn't you a book for them ? May be you 
couldn't spare 'em, but they would be very glad of 
one.** Her interesting manner so won upon me, that 
she might have drained my basket, had not an older 
one in the party checked her importunity. My 
company was now quite numerous, for men, women, 
and children were foUowing in my train. I gave them 
each a book, and walked on to the next village. All 
who accompanied me disappeared among the cottages, 
saying, ** God speed ye," and left me alone. In a 
moment the two whom I first accosted, came out, and 
said, " We are goin' on a message to the bridge, and 
will be with you a bit." The bridge was passed, it 
was getting dark, and I said, *' you had better return, 
your parents may chide you." ** No," said the young- 
est of but nine years old, "ye are lonely and the 
night'U be on ye, and we'll go with ye to the town. 
We'd as lieve go with a stranger as with one of our 
own." The artless simplicity with which she said this, 
and the expression of kindness which lighted up her 
countenance when she spoke, strongly inclined me to 
take her in my arms, and snatch her away from a land 
where the poor must be kept in their rank because 
they are poor. 

The instinct of kindness which is so strong in the 
children of the peasantry, is remarkable throughout 
the country, and offers to the observing stranger a re- 
deeming substitute for all other privations. My little 
companions took me in sight of the town, and pointing 
forward, " and ye'U find the ferry on a bit," said " God 
speed ye," and scampered away, with my heart in gal- 
loping speed after them. 


The ferriage was a penny, which was given on 
entering the boat. Stepping ashore, I was accosted 
with, " Four pence, ma'am ; four pence is the ferriage 
you must pay me." ** You did not know, sir, a yankee 
knows full well when the fair is paid." ** You're a 
thief," said a countryman, " let the woman pass on," 
and the crowd gave way to allow me to go through. 
This was taking the advantage of the lone stranger, 
and quite the other side of the glowing picture pre- 
sented by the little girls. 

A half mile took me to the desired haven of Doctor 
Power's, and I felt as if I were by an American fireside 
where peace and good order prevailed. Here I passed 
a week, where every thing was done for my comfort. 
The children were a source of diversion and interest, 
being talented, intelligent, and kind-hearted. Under 
the superintendence of a judicious mother, a kind 
father, a sensible experienced grandmother, and good 
governess, they must improve. A dancing, drawing, 
and music master weekly attended, dancing in Ireland 
being considered a necessary part of education, even 
by many of the church. None of the higher class 
ever omit it, and the lower so manage, that at an early 
age the peasantry spend much time in dancing to the 
bagpipe, or the discordant vocal performance of some 
rustic. " It's all the sport the like of us have," said 
one who invited me to a field dance. Old and young, 
priest and people, participate, approve, or disapprove 
as the case may be. 

My stay in this family was protracted, from a reluct- 
ance to leave a society which had become doubly 
endearing from what I had and must again encounter 
in my tour through Ireland. For, though I had been 
treated very kindly in good families, yet I had found 
few where the household management had been so 
home-like ; where a genteel lady would go into her 
kitchen, and prepare with her own hands the nice dish 
for her guests ; where laborer and animal shared in 
that kindness, which, though easy to bestow, yet is 

246 CO. OF COKK. [chap. xv. 

seldom manifested where wealth and fashion pre- 


Cloyne — Difference between Upstarts and the really Wellbred 
— Practical Proofs of the same — Wonderful Natural Caves — 
City Jail of Cork — Humane Governor — Prison Discipline — 
Taking leave of a good man — Character of Father Mathew 
— No Monopoly in Orthodoxy — ^A Night in Bandon — A 
Peasant Family employed, a rare sight in Ireland — ^Arrival 
at the miserable town of fiantry. 

Saturday , February \Sth. — ^Mrs. P , her mother, and 
two children acompanied me in their carriage four 
ioodles to the ferry, leaving me three miles to walk to 
Cloyne. I had letters of introduction from the govern- 
ess to a couple of families in high life ; the first, born 
in obscurity, the second of princely descent. " You will 
see," said my friend, " in these two families the ex- 
tremes of silly pride and genuine unostentatious 
nobleness of character — where if worldly distinctions 
claim any share in merit, they are the legitimate 
owners of a great share." A hurried walk, in some- 
what an uneven and uninviting scenery, brought me 
at last to Cloyne. Making my way by enquiry, the 
house was pointed out, and a stupid servant took my 
letter, saying, « The yoimg ladies are out," but soon 
returned from the kitchen saying they had gone to 
meeting. She had left the note with a brother of the 
young ladies, who had broken the seal, and after a half 
hour of most tedious suspense, I regained the note, and 
went away to a neighboring house. I was soon called 
for by the sisters, who invited me in, and the first 
question after being seated was, " Is this the way the 
Americans dress ? Indeed I thought they dressed very 
tawdry." " This is the dress which Americans would 
wear when travelling, madam." The character of 
Americans now went through a fiery ordeal. A gen- 

CHAP. XV.] CO. OF CORK. 247 

tleman had lately returned from New York, who tes- 
tified he had seen Irish servants at balls, among the 
highest classes; and had at parties seen pies with 
crusts an inch thick, and so tough he could not bite 
them. So much for American dress, American repub- 
licanism, and American cookery, as a preface. 

As Cloyne could boast of some antiquities, I was 
conducted to see the most remarkable, and the church 
built in 600 by the Catholics first claimed our atten- 
tion. This church is now fitted up for Protestants, 
and retains as much of its ancient appearance as pos- 
sible, claiming to be one of the noblest works of an- 
tiquity. The hieroglyphics on the stones under which 
the dead are deposited, and many remains of ancient 
workmanship, tell emphatically for the taste of the 
ancients, as well as the passing away of all that is 
earthly. The chapel where service is performed con- 
tains the bishop's throne, which by some amalgamation 
has been doomed to be the seat where all bishops, 
either Protestant, or Catholic, must be ordained. 
Tablets, ancient and modern, are upon the walls of the 
aisle and church ; the aisle is the width of the church, 
and longer than the chapel itself, and seems to be waste 
entirely. Next to the bishop's throne, my young 
heiresses told me was their pew, claiming to hold the 
highest rank in the church ! 

We next prepared for an ascent into the tower, 
which is the most complete of any in Ireland, built by 
nobody knows whom, nobody knows when, and nobody 
knows for what purpose. It is now used for hanging 
a bell, to call people to church. We ascended a flight 
of seven steps to the height of 102 feet, and had a 
most commanding view of town and adjacent country; 
but so perpendicular were the stairs, that I was tole- 
rably crippled for two days following. It was night 
when we reached the domicile of these newly estated 
misses, who did all that was rational to make me com- 
fortable, so far as eating and sleeping were concerned, 
minding to entertain me with the out of the way vul- 
garities of New York, its common-place magistrates, 

248 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xv. 

its little respect to rank and fortune ; assuring me that 
their authority was good, emanating from an assistant 
editor of Gordon Bennett. But Sabbath morning was 
the test of the civility of these religious housekeepers, 
for they assured me they were communicants in the 
church. As the bell was ringing, the eldest observed, 
" you will stay at home with me to-day, I am not going 
to church." 

'* Why stay at home ? You say your minister is a 
good preacher, and why should I not go to hear him ?** 

" O, the people stare so much at strangers." 

"What, in the old refined town of Clojme, and 
where the people, you say, are quite religious ! Surely 
they do not go to worship God, if they are so prover- 
bial for staring at strangers that they must be kept 
away!" I waited with bonnet and coat on, till the 
bell ceased, and then enquired, " have the sisters 

" O yes, they would not stay till the services com- 
menced, because people stare so." 

" I will make my way alone," was my answer ; and 
the polite sexton, willing to show a stranger all due 
respect, escorted me through the church, and showed 
me into the honorable pew next the throne, where the 
two young prudes were seated, with prayer-book in 
hand, so intent on their devotions that they heeded me 
not, till I called at the foot of the stairs leading to 
their chamber to say ^ Good bye." The two elder 
sisters had prepared me a good dinner, and received 
me on my return with much cordiality; and as my 
visit was now terminated, the eldest sister said, " You 
must not walk to Mrs. Fitzgerald's. We have a good 
jaunting-car, and will send our man to convey you 
thither." But listen, reader ! The jaunting-car proved 
to be a cart, with a bunch of oaten straw for a seat, 
and when all was equipped, the elder sister said, " We 
wish you to tell Mrs. Fitzgerald that you rode on our 
jaunting-car to the lodge ; and be sure you get off at 
the lodge, and she will not see you !" 

This was too much, and indignantly I said, " I won't. 

CHAP. XV.] CO. OF CORK. 249 

I will not lie for any one ;" ashamed at the silly pride, 
but more at the impiety of the eldest, who acted as 
mistress of the family, and who ten minutes before, 
while at my dinner, had been telling me of her late 
conversion to the love of the Christian religion. 

This was a fair specimen of many such, started by 
accident into an estate. These daughters had lately 
become heiresses to an inheritance by the death of a 
grandfather, who having no lawful heir, left his patri- 
mony to their father, his illegitimate son. The daugh- 
ters, wishing to get into society to which by birthright 
they were not entitled, endeavoured " by hook and by 
crook" to make up for all deficiencies of high blood, 
which in Ireland is the ultimation of all silly aspirants 
to nobility. It is not her strong forte, but her weak 
side, her silly, her effectual drawback to real excel- 
lence, especially in woman. The Irish women, were 
it not for this discrepancy, would stand out as a model 
of all that is dignified in their sex ; for, wherever can 
be found the legitimate possessors of princely birth 
and education, there is found a dignity, blended with 
the most refined affability, which makes the mean- 
est dependent feel she is in presence of a protector. 

Saying a long and lasting adieu, not forgetting the 
absconded prudes who had kept themselves secluded 
from sight since their return from church, I ascended 
the cart, which would have been declined had not rain 
and stiffness occasioned by climbing the tower, made it 
imprudent to undertake a two miles' walk. The driver, 
true to his trust, dropped me at a respectful distance 
from the lodge, in sight of the mansion, which was on 
the top of a hill in a place called " Bock View." Here 
was a genuine noble family, of the true Irish race, of 
olden blood, wealthy, unsophisticated, unassuming, and 
condescending. The mother, a widow, with eleven 
children, all whom she had well educated, and elevated 
to respectability in different stations in life, was in the 
midst of her household, as the centre of attraction to 
which they were all drawn. With courtesy they re- 
ceived me as the bearer of an introductory note from 


250 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xv. 

a friend, and as a stranger. The accomplished sons 
and daughters of this family, alluded not to any higher 
lineage of their own than the meanest peasant. Their 
religion was Roman Catholic, but had I not seen a 
crucifix in the daughters' bedroom, I should not have 
known it. 

Monday. — I visited the great rock, from which the 
place receives its name, and which contains a valuable 
marble quarry. The labourers, some years since had, 
in excavating the rock, found caves of immense ex- 
tent, which are objects of peculiar interest. One into 
which I was shown had a narrow entrance, widening 
as you advance, and in somewhat a zig-zag direction, 
until it brings you into rooms ornamented as if done 
by a chisel, these ornaments many of them hanging 
from the ceiling. Here are seats like small benches ; 
an altar which had been much defaced by the ruthless 
hands of visitors carrying away pieces of the candle- 
stick, &c. These chambers of imagery had been ex- 
plored to the distance, some said, of a quarter of a 
mile, by the aid of a lantern, and no end yet found. 
The cave, from continued rain, was covered with three 
feet of transparent water, which had percolated 
through the stones, and I could only set my foot upon 
|he rough side, and put in my head, and sing, which 
produced a long and sonorous echo, so that it could be 
heard at a great distance. These caves altogether are 
a wonderful and beautiful curiosity, and have given 
rise to a multitude of legends by the superstitious, and 
are still considered as sacred, because they have been 
the habitation of chieftains and fugitives from justice, 
or saints to do penance. The top and sides of the 
cave in many places, appeared as if icicles had been 
formed and congealed upon the rock, lying in parallel 
lines, and shining like polished ivory. Nature cer- 
tainly must have been sitting alone and undisturbed 
for centuries, to have cut and carved such a spacious 

But caves, Rock View, and the kind-hearted Fitz- 
geralds must be left ; and I returned to the house to 

CHAP. XV.] CO. OF CORK. 251 

prepare for a final departure. But rain prevented, 
and another pleasant evening was passed with this 
hospitable family. Early in the morning my breakfast 
was prepared, a respectable carriage made ready, and 
I was sent to the steamer, with my passage paid to 
Cove. This excursion was not a lost one. The two 
families where I stopped were stereotyped editions of 
every family I had then, or have since seen, in like 
conditions throughout the country ; and so marked 
are these characteristics, that an observer need seldom 
mistake, without once enquiring the pedigree. 

I must again leave ; the constant adieus had become 
quite painful, and I knew when I should leave the 
family. of Dr. Power, that privations and fatigues 
must attend me. My stay here had been the rest 
which was needed. No bustle of parties, but a quiet 
calm-sitting down in the midst of a well-regulated 
family, where peace, comfort and intelligence resided ; 
where walking, reading, thinking, talking, eating and 
sleeping, had their appropriate places. The kindness 
of the people of Cork will be had in everlasting re- 
membrance ; it will not wear out, but grow brighter 
by use. I said " good morning " and went out for 
ever from the beautiful Cove of Cork ; leaving behind 
many a grateful remembrance, which none but a 
stranger can fully understand. 

Thursday, — Mrs. Danker treated me with a visit 
to the city and county jails, which were so entirely 
novel and intricate in their windings, that I could not 
describe them to a stranger. Perfect order and clean- 
liness prevail. From ten to five a school is kept open 
for men and boys, whether criminals or debtors ; and 
from twelve to two for women. In the county jail we 
found but one chapel for Catholics and Protestants, 
where all assemble and hear a Protestant sermon. In 
the city jail is a chapel for each. The exterior of the 
city jail is beautiful, built of stone tastefully arranged. 
The panes of the windows were small, and concealed 
the dismal appearance of the iron grates within. The 
governor was a man of sense and feeling, and said 

252 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xv. 

he often felt it his duty to mitigate the punishment 
of prisoners, when he found good conduct, and granted 
them what little indulgences were in his power. When 
he first took charge of the institution, he found many 
boys in a room, quite happy with their lot ; but putting 
them in separate cells soon sobered them, and had the 
most salutary effect ; for the Irish, he observed, have 
a great fondness for society, and a superstitious horror 
of ghosts and fairies. The number of boys, he added, 
had quite diminished since he made this regulation ; 
but he remarked that solitary confinement for adults, 
was a dangerous and in many cases a fatal punishment ; 
the mind of very few, if any, could bear it with safety. 
They had sent him one, he said, to be confined in a 
solitary cell for a fortnight, prohibiting any one to 
speak to him in the time. He staid a week, but so in- 
jured was his intellect, that he had no doubt another 
week would have made him an idiot. Where they 
are ignorant and untutored, they had the most dismal 
forebodings and dread, the mind having nothing on 
which to feed, but what was of the most gloomy if not 
of the most frightful kind. A celebrated and expe- 
rienced English judge has declared, that he should 
never sentence any to solitary confinement. 

The prisoners in this prison, when not at study, are 
at work at various mechanical trades ; the women 
washing, spinning, and sewing. They have gardens 
and beautiful walks, where they are allowed at stated 
times to go and recreate themselves. The ridiculous 
treadmill, too, is a part of the punishment, where 
three hours a day they must step to no available pur- 
pose. When man takes punishment into his own 
hand, he has so little of the wisdom of God in the dis- 
tribution, in the quantity as well as the quality, that 
he makes serious and irreparable mistakes. The bar- 
barous relic of a treadmill is a standing testimony, that 
Christian nations who practise it need to learn the 
first principles of civilization. , 

Friday, — A day's ramble through mud and rain 
made me but little wiser, and no better, and stopping 

CHAP. XV.] CO. OF CORK. 253 

at Father Mathew's I dined with him for the last time. 
He expected to leave town the next day, and I to 
do the same, never to return. I felt at leaving this 
good man, that I was leaving one whose like I should 
not meet in any other place. " I hope to meet you 
again,'^ was the simple farewell, with a " God bless 
you." The remembrance of his unabating kindness 
can never die, and the least I can do is to leave one 
page in my journal as a just memorial of his worth.* 

Father Mathew, taken in the aggregate, is a charac- 
ter which must put the finger of silence on the lip of 
even bigotry itself. If any one finds fault, it must be 
because his unceasing unostentatious acts of goodness 
rebuke his own sluggishness. He unites the meekness 
of a Moses with the unyielding firmness of a Paul ; 
and while he reasons with severity on temperance, and 
a "judgment to come,** before a worldly-minded Felix, 
he dashes in kind sprinklings of mercy to the repenting 
prodigal who says, " Father, I have sinned.'* While 
he shows " mercy with cheerfulness," he forbears not 
the deserved caution or rebuke, where the recipient 
may have caused his own sufferings by imprudence. 
While the rich guest at his table feels a subdued 
respect, the poor feels he is in presence of one by 
whom he is remembered with that condescending kind- 
ness, which narrows the awful gulph too often fixed 
between the rich and the poor. While universal 
praises are falling on his ear, and the multitude are 
saying, " It is the voice of a God and not of a man,** 
like the angel before whom John was about to fall and 
worship, he says, " See thou do it not." 

Like the eagle, the nearer he approximates to the 
sun, the clearer his vision, and the less the squibbings 
of the marksman affect him — so, as this heaven -born 
towering mind goes from glory to glory in his lofty 
moral flight, the adulations and censures of men die on 

* In my remarks on this man I have consulted no taste, no 
opinion, and no religion but my own ; and if any think 
me a heretic, I can only say, ** What I have written, I have 

254 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xv. 

his ear like the echo of the mountain sportsman, or 
the distant murmur of the waterfall. When he speaks 
in a crowd, it is not that the eloquence of his tongue, 
or the happy figure or turn of a period may be ad- 
mired ; and when the loud cheerings drown his voice, 
the lighting up of his countenance is not that of 
inflated vanity, but a grateful manifestation of appro- 
bation that his brethren can appreciate the worth of 
that cause which lies so near his heart. Though 
cradled in the lap of affluence, he is as unostentatious 
of pedigree as the shepherd boy, who claims no descent 
beyond the thatched cabin that gave him birth. Though 
the weight of an intemperate world is rolled upon him, 
yet he forgets not the wants of the humblest menials, 
nor suffers the smallest favor to go unrequited. Con- 
sistency is the sheet anchor which keeps all steady. 
His house, though the resort of the ^reat and noble, 
has no tawdry display of finery, nor rich gildings, 
serving only as useless ornaments of family greatness. 
His religion is truly catholic, dealing no anathemas to 
the dissenting who may differ from his creed in belief 
or practice ; and his whole life, though one of daily 
self-denial, is an even tenor of chastened patience and 
cheerfulness. He has wiped more tears from the face 
of woman, than any other being on the globe, but the 
Lord Jesus ; and thousands of lisping infants will 
bless the providence that gave them an existence in 
the same age with Father Mathew. May God give 
him length of days, and a crown of glory in heaven, 
which shall shine as the stars for ever and ever 1 

Going from Father Mathew, I met a kind lady at 
whose house I had spent a night, and accepted an 
invitation to turn into a chapel, and hear a sermon by 
an old priest who was a great favorite of hers. The 
subject was the suffering of Christ, and the text, " My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" In 
discussing it he said, the necessity of Christ's suffering 
consisted in the entire inability of a self-destroyed 
finite being repairing an infinite loss, and making any 
atonement which could satisfy Divine Justice. That 

CHAP. XV.]" CO. OF CORK. 255 

a sinful being could not do a meritorious act That 
all he could now do, he owed to God before he fell, 
and that all and the only hope of the sinner was now 
the cross, and warned all to flee to the strong hold 
while they were " prisoners of hope." In conclusion, 
he said he had in a long life attended many death beds, 
and the lamentations of the sinner were not so much 
that he had been an immoral man, as that he had 
neglected the " great salvation ;" that he put off the 
great work of repentance till to-morrow, when salvation 
is offered only to day. I was not prepared to hear so 
orthodox a sermon in Lent, and when I went home 
mentioned it to the Protestant lady where I lodged, 
who informed me that this old man was second to none 
but Father Mathew in alms-deeds, and was considered 
a faithful preacher, even by those who had no fellow- 
abip with the Romish Church. 

Saturday^ 22nd. — I made preparation for leaving 
Cork, but the kind Mrs. Fisher persuaded me to stop 
till Monday, and refused any compensation for the 
long time I had been with her. What shall I say of 
the kindness manifested to me in Cork ? This city 
had not lost its civilization by being civilized. In aU 
other large towns in Ireland I had noticed, the more 
wealth and show, the less kindness and urbanity of 
manners. Cork is ranked as high or higher in litera- 
ture than any city in Ireland, and its management is 
quite under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholics. 

Monday^ 24th. — Go I must. Mrs. Danker called, 
and said, " if possible I will see you at the coach." 
When I arrived, she was in waiting, with two or three 
other ladies, and when I was snugly seated in the 
carriage, she again gave me her hand, putting into 
mine a pound note. The coachman gave me no time 
to thank her, and thus was an additional debt of grati- 
tude incurred, which I shall never pay. A supply of 
oranges had been purchased by the ladies, and I was 
pursued by a lad throwing them into the coach for 
many yards after we had entered the main street, to 
the no small amusement of the lookers-on. 

256 CO. OP CORK. [chap. xv. 

Bandon was my place of destination^ at least f(»* a 
night, about twenty miles from Cork ; and with a note 
from Mrs. Danker to a friend, who would show me to 
a lodging place, I alighted from the coach. The 
dwelling was found, but I was admitted no further 
than the hall. The letter was read, and I was pointed 
to a house over the way^ — the lady had no room ; to 
another — no room ; to a third — no room. 1 returned, 
and stood upon the steps of the door — no invitation to 
walk in. The young lady insisted that I should go to 
a public-house. In the meantime she sent a boy to 
three supposable cases : all refused. It was now ten 
o'clock. The servant accompanied me to a distant 
hotel, where I was received, and left my muif in 
pledge while I returned to the coach office for my 
luggage. The keeper of the coach-house inn kindly 
returned with me, and we were met at the door by a 
young lady, saying, " your room is taken, and we can- 
not accommodate you." 

I seriously feared my complaisant guide would take 
a freak, when he found that I had utterly been refused 
by so many, and leave me to make my way as best I 
could. But he invited me to his well-regulated house, 
and I stopped the next day and night on account of rain ; 
and for my vexatious reception in the town, he said I 
should pay nothing in Bandon. This is a handsome 
town of about twelve thousand inhabitants ; formerly 
Protestants, but now mostly Catholics. It was once 
famed for the weaving of corduroy and tickens, but all 
have gone down, leaving the town like many of its 
sisters in Ireland, sitting idle without employment. 

The inn-keeper was an Englishman, and showed 
his attachment to Ireland by having resided in it 
twenty-five years, and marrying three Irish ladies 
since living in the country, beside having one buried 
in England. The English, though not the greatest 
admirers of Ireland as a whole, yet seem to have no 
objection to the Irish ladies for wives ; and in this 
they certainly show good taste. 

Wednesday morning* — The town was all in mourn- 

CHAP. XV.] CO. OF CORK. 257 

ing for the sudden death of Father M'Sweenej, who 
was a favourite amoog Protestants as well as among 
Romanists. Shops were closed, and business sus- 
pended in all parts of the town, and the mourners 
went about the streets. In groups might be seen the 
inhabitants, talking of his worth, and saying <' the like 
of him was not in all Bandon,** and '< the loss of him 
will never be made up.'* A Protestant observed, he 
was a " good adviser to his parish, and a peace-maker 
in the town, and his memory will long be cherished by 
us all." 

Taking a walk far out of town, I went into a 
miserable cabin, where two old women and their two 
daughters were at their wheels, and a third old woman 
carding. This was an unusual sight, for seldom had I 
seen, in Ireland^ a whole family employed among the 
peasantry. Ages of poverty have taken every thing 
out of their hands, but preparing and eating the 
potato ; and they sit listlessly upon a stool, lie upon 
their straw, or saunter upon the street, because no 
one hires them. 

These simple-hearted women had never seen an 
American before, and all work was suspended to give 
xne a thorough greeting, and to examine every part of 
mj clothing ; and when I took the cards from the old 
woman's hands, and they saw I actually knew how to 
use them, <'aw, Grod bless the cratur, and she aint 
above her business." Seeing about my neck a golden 
locket, which I told them was a memento of the kind- 
ness of Father Mathew, the old woman clasped it in 
her hands most affectionately, with blessings upon my 
head and on that of the " apostle," whose pledge she 
had taken, and all her family with her. In every 
cabin the name of Father Mathew is like music, and in 
the greater part of Ireland he lives in the heart 
of both lord and peasant. " Blessing, blessing on your 
head, the cratur," as I left, was poured upon me, till I 
was well out upon the street, "ye're a right wonder- 
ful woman, and that ye are." 

258 CO. OF CORK. Lchap. xv. 

At half past two a farewell to the kind EDglish- 
man's wife and children was given, and I was whirled 
out of Bandon, amid the din of saucj idlers, waiting 
about the coach, and one bawled out, " Mistress, a six- 
pence, and ye owe me a sixpence." When I was 
seated on the coach, he had handed me my basket, 
which was standing near by, and for this he demanded 
a fee. I had paid a porter for his services, and this 
was wholly an uncalled-for supernumerary. The 
never-ceasing annoyances of these appendages to 
coaches and cars, make travelling one of the greatest 
evils encountered in going through the country. You 
are teazed till you allow them to do what you do not 
wish to have done, and then abused if you do not 
reward them. 

My company was not the most intelligent, but civil ; 
even declined smoking for my accommodation, which 
was a mortal sacrifice to an Irishman ; and had I not 
been an American, fear I should have been puffed 
most thoroughly. A talkative old man said he was 
about sailing for America with four sons, who were 
determined to go, and he should take the old woman 
along with them, though she was "ould;" but he 
would not have her fretting herself after him, and ** so, 
lady, we will go together." He offered to find me 
a "dacent lodging," but left me when we reached 
Bantry, to make it out at my leisure. I went into the 
miserable coach-office, and saw poverty and desolation 
pourtrayed in every part of the dwelling where the 
family resided. The children were interesting, could 
read, and giving them some little books, I begged the 
good mother to direct me into some comfortable place, 
as the night was dark, and I was a stranger. She sent 
an intelligent boy, who soon found a genteel house, 
kept by three sisters and a brother, as a shop and 
lodging-house. The nicely fitted parlor and bed-room 
were inviting retreats, and here may I date the com- 
mencement of all that was marvellous — all that was 
romantic — all that was painfully exciting, and all that 


was wholly indescribable in my tour through Ireland, 
and I would say — 

** If you have tears, prepare to shed them now." 

Come, sit down with me, and weep over the sad 
desolations of your stricken country ; and while you 
weep, reflect, when a righteous God shall make inqui- 
sition for blood, if you have said, " be ye warmed and 
be ye filled " while the garment was in your ward-robe, 
tlie bread upon your table, and the word of life upon 

your shelf what shall shelter your head from the 

avenger of the poor ? 


Exploration in Bantry — Poverty, Wretchedness, and Filth of 
the Dwellings — Grand Poorhouse standing unoccupied — 
Wigwam Row — My attendant, John — Employment a No- 
velty — Beautiful Bay of Bantry — Glengariflf— Bad choice of 
a Lodginghouse — A motley Audience — No Refuge from the 
Staring — Morning Levee — ^Lord Bantry 's Cottage — Hospi- 
tality at the Gatehouse— Call at my ill-chosen Lodgings. 

When about leaving Cork for Killarney I intended 
taking the shortest and cheapest route; but Father 
Mathew said, " If you wish to seek out the poor, go to 
Bantry, there you will see misery in all and in every 
form.'' I took his advice, went to Bantry, and 
there found a wild, dirty sea-port, with cabins built 
upon the rocks and hills, having the most antiquated 
and forlorn appearance of any town I had seen ; the 
people going about not with sackcloth upon their heads, 
for this they could not purchase, but in rags and 
tatters such as no country but Ireland could hang out. 

The night was dark and rainy when I reached the 
town, and a comfortable parlor and cheerful fire hid 
from my eyes the appalling desolation that brooded 
without. The morning opened my eyes, to look out upon 
sights which, as I write, flit before me like haggard 
spectres. I dressed, went forth, and made my way 

200 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xvi. 

upon the rocks, found upon the sides of them some 
deplorable cabins, where smoke was issuing from 
the doors, and looking into one, the sight was ap- 
palling. Like an African kraal, the door was so 
low as to admit only a child of ten or twelve, and at 
the entrance a woman put out her head, with a dirty 
cloth about it ; a stout pig was taking its breakfast 
within, and a lesser one stood waiting at a distance. 
The woman crouched over the busy swine with her 
feet in mud, and asked what I wanted ? 

In truth, for a moment I wanted time to collect 
myself before I knew what I wanted ; at last I told 
her my errand was to see how they do in Ireland, 
among the poor. " An' faith, you see enough on'em 
here.'* Looking in, I saw a pile of dirty broken straw, 
which served for a bed for both family and pigs, not a 
chair, table, or pane of glass, and no spot to sit except 
upon the straw in one comer, without sitting in mud 
and manure. On the whole, it was the most revolting 
picture my eyes ever beheld, and I prayed that they 
might never behold the like again. Leaving this 
abode, I ascended the rock a little higher, and entered 
a second. On the left hand of the door was a bank on 
which lay a young man upon straw; and upon a 
couple of stools sat the master and mistress, waiting 
the cooking of a pot of potatoes for breakfast. " Is 
any one sick ?" " No, no, idle, idle," answered the 
mother ; " nothin' to do, and so he lies in bed. The 
old man here has not airn'd but a shillin' since St. 
John's." "And how, do tell me, do you live?" "We 
gets our potato when we can, ma'am ; and that's all, 
ye see." " So you live, because you can't die." " Just 
so, lady ; because the Almighty God don't see fit to 
take us away, an' we must be content with what he 
sends us ; but sure, may we ask, what brought ye here 
among these wild rocks ?" " To see the poor of Ireland ; 
and I hope to go through the country, and see them 
all." « And yell have a long purse when ye return.'* 
Supposing she alluded to money, I told her, " not a 


pound, perhaps." " But ye'll have the whole chart of 
Ireland, ma'am." 

I looked at this woman, and at the appurtenances 
that surrounded her. " The whole chart of Ireland," 
from lips that could neither read English or Irish ! She 
had a noble forehead, an intelligent eye, and a good 
share of common sense ; she had breathed the air of 
this wild mountainous coast all her sad pilgrimage, and 
scarcely, she said, had a "dacent garment covered her, 
or a wholesome male of mate crassed her lips, save at 
Christmas, since the day she left the parents that 
paired her." Telling them I wished some one to carry 
my carpet bag to Glengariff, the old man said he had 
a son as honest as any lad in Bantry, and he should 
take it for a shilling ; the bargain was quickly con- 
cluded. A lofty well-finished poorhouse was back of 
these abodes of misery, and the old lady leaving her 
potatoes, showed me up the slippery path-way to the 
gate. She had said there was no fire but in the 
kitchen and the school mistress' room, I replied that 
this was not the case in any other poorhouse I had 
visited, and I should like to see it for myself. When 
we reached the gate it was closed, and no admittance ; 
the keeper was not there, and not a person in it, and 
never had been, though all things had been ready for 
a year ; the farmers stood out, and would not pay the 
taxes. The old lady was right respecting the farmers 
and their taxes, but was quite confused about the fires 
and fire-places. The poorhouse was certainly the 
most respectable looking of any building in Bantry ; 
and it is much to be regretted, that the money laid odt 
to build, and pay a keeper for sitting alone in the 
mansion, had not been expended in giving work to 
the starving poor, who might then have had no occasion 
for any house but a comfortable cottage. 

I waded about the town an hour more to find, if 
possible, something more tolerable ; but disheartened 
I returned to my lodgings, which were the only oasis 
in this woe-begone place. The next day found matters 
no better, and after again wading through a few streets, 

262 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xvr. 

I returned disgusted at the nausea, which was sicken - 
ing in the extreme. I left an Irish Testament where 
the man of the family could read Irish well, and where 
no Bible had ever been. The peasants in this part of 
the country are not so afraid of the Scriptures if they 
speak Irish, because they attach a kind of sanctity to 
this language. 

The next morning looked a little propitious, and I 
hurried to Wigwam Row, to apprise the boy that he 
must take his potatoes, and be ready for the journey.* 

This Wigwam Row is entitled to a little explanation. 
It consists of a row of cabins, built literally upon a 
rock, upon the sloping side of a hill, where not a 
vestige of grass can grow, the rock being a continued 
flat piece like slate. The favored ones who dwell 
there pay no rent, having been allowed in the season 
of the cholera to go up and build these miserable huts, 
as the air upon the hill was more healthy. And there, 
like moss, to the rocks have they clung, getting their 
job when and where they can, to give them their 
potatoes once in a day, which is the most any of them 
aspire to in the shortest winter days. 

I found them still in their nest, and after much 
beating and battering at the crazy door, the old man 
peeped out, calling, " Who's there ? and won't it do as 
well for me to go T " I have no choice," replied I. 
" An4 will ye get breakfast on the way ?" This was 
a tnodest hint that I should give him breakfast, though 
it had been adjusted that he should take his before we 
left. << I shall return and take mine, and you must 
take yours at home in the mean time." I said this to 
keep him to his bargain, intending to give him some 
when he should call. " In an hour," said the old man, 
" I will be with ye." The hour had not expired when 

• I could not but say when standing on this spot, ** How 
long, O Lord, how long" can such dreadful sufferings — such 
odious filth be allowed upon a world like this ! Sure some 
volcano, some hailstone, or some fire, some overflowing flood, 
some miasma, or some earthquake, must obliterate them from 
sight, and ** that right earlj." 


the old man was at the door, with " We had better 
take the airly part of the day." He had not stopped 
for his potato, and more than probably he had none, 
and must get the shilling before the potatoes could 
come. Dividing the breakfast with the old man, I 
hurried through mine, and the wallet with all appurte- 
nances was swung upon a stick, and snugly adjusted 
upon the back of my fellow pedestrian. The modest 
sisters wished all prosperity, giving a smile as they 
saw us go out. Men, women, and children had watched 
the movements of John, and met us upon the walk as 
an escort. " John, which way ? and what now ? sure 
and ye aint goin' to lave us ?*' John was a man of 
some independence, and a little tact withal ; and he 
managed to let them know by a slight toss of the head, 
and a significant look, that he was about business 
which interested the parties concerned, and should 
give account of none of his matters. Ludicrous as the 
scene might be, and playful as seemed their jokes, yet 
the real truth was affecting — John was about to earn 
a few pence, and the favor was a great and enviable 
one. They had looked and sauntered about the mise- 
rable town for days and weeks for such a boon, in 
vain, and now the lucky John had drawn the prize ! 

We soon left sight of Bantry, for mud retarded not 
my progress, and we hurried on to the no small amaze- 
ment of all we met, who in multitudes were going to 
town for market. But the Bay of Bantry — the bay of 
all bays — stretched out on our left with its islands, 
and the rugged rocks on our right, so attracted my 
notice, that what with gaping on either hand, and 
looking now and then how to avoid the mud, my 
gallant John would be far before me. He would often 
sit down upon a wall, till I was within speaking 
distance, then giving the wallet a further hitch upon 
his shoulder, would rise and hasten on, thus not 
leaving me a moment for rest. At last I contrived to 
lighten my burden, by taking my huge black muff, 
which was quite the gaze of men and women, as well 
as the fright of all the children in mountain and glen, 

264 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xyi. 

and drawing it up closely at one end, so that the Irish 
Testaments that were in it could ride safely, I called 
to the old man, and begged him to allow me to fasten 
the muff to his wallet, as the day was getting warm, 
and it quite impeded my travelling. Hanging at one 
end, and being large and made of the fur of the black 
bear of tlie American forest, it made John an object of 
still greater interest to the wondering peasantry, who 
all seemed to be quite acquainted with him. He was 
bom on one of the islands of the bay, and had lived 
all his days within the sound of its waters. ^' And 
what is this, John ? and what sort may the cratur be 
that's hanging at your back ?" 

I now succeeded in keeping pace with my guide for 
a time, and by dint of management kept John in 
tolerable mood. He would now and then mutter out 
that the place was a " divil of a starved one, that not 
a hap'orth could be got if the heart was broke." Taking 
the hint, I presented him with a piece of bread from 
my muff, which appeased for a little his clamor, and 
we pursued our journey amicably together. But no 
happiness is unalloyed. On a sudden, a terrible crash 
was heard, and lo I the handle of the basket had given 
way. Out tumbled books, Wicklow pebbles, &Ci and a 
complete overturning of all the contents of the wallet 
took place. With strings and pins, matters were again 
adjusted in a tolerably good way ; but John, in fasten- 
ing all together, had the shrewdness so to manage that 
the muff was again turned over to me. Drawing near 
the town, a cabin of tolerable appearance met our eyes, 
and the tidiness of the abode was now held out to me 
as a bait. " She can give as clane a bed as any woman 
in the kingdom." I heeded not, till the hotel of 
Glengariff burst upon our view. Here the praises 
were redoubled — " Ye'd find every convanience, and 
as chape as any lodgin'-house in all the country." I 
had, before leaving Bantry, been told there was a 
private lodging that would serve me better than the 
hotel, and I determined if possible to spend the Sab- 


bath there. It was a sad mistake. John was the 
better judge, and should have been obeyed. 

The lodging-house at length appeared, and before a 
filthy door were horses, men, and asses in thick array* 
John with his wallet squeezed through, and I followed 
before the passage was closed. . "This is the way, 
ma'am," leading me up to a dark whiskey deposit, 
entered by a hole a few feet high. In this place stood 
a dirty woman pouring muddy coffee into bowls, and 
sending it to a mass of ragged countrymen, who were 
drinking it without milk. She was occasionally inter- 
rupted by a call for hot punch ; " Going, going," was 
the answer, and going they were in very deed. This 
lodging was the height and depth of all that I had 
seen in depravity. " Can I have some boiling water?" 
" When the men are sarved, ma'am." John had seated 
himself upon a bench, quietly smoking, past all hurry, 
though in the greatest haste for the last three hours. 
Saying to him, as he was in fear of night, he had 
better take a loaf of bread, and not wait for the 
kettle. " Aw, I'll wait for the kettle, plaise God." 
The kettle came, a bowl of cocoa and a loaf of bread 
were soon dispatched. " Take care of yourself and 
your things, ma'am, or ye'll not have a hap'orth be- 
longing to ye," he whispered as he went out. 

When John was sitting upon the wall, eating a 
piece of bread, by the way, I asked, " do you expect 
to go to heaven ?" No, ma'am, I shall never go to 
heaven. The poor, ma'am, are great sinners, and 
must not expect to go there." " The poor will cer- 
tainly go to heaven, if they repent." He still insisted, 
" the poor are very wicked, and must not expect to go 
there. No, no, ma'am, I shall not get there." As he 
was departing, I said, " John, I shall see you no more, 
and I beg you to go to Christ, and be saved." He 
paused, resting on his stick ; then giving me a piercing 
glance of desponding bitterness, he shook his head, 
and answered emphatically, " that can never be for 
me." What had so firmly fixed this opinion, I could 
not nor can I imagine^ for it seems to be the prevail- 


266 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xvi. 

ing consolatory belief of the peasantry in Ireland, that 
the poor are in a much better way for heaven than the 
rich, and they bear their poverty often with great 
patience, because they shall soon be better situated. 
Not so with John. His mind had been differently 
trained, and though he seemed fixed in his belief, he 
made it a duty to submit to his fate. I felt regret at 
parting with this ignorant old man, for though not 
skilled in books, he was a shrewd child of nature, and 
had been for half a day a more amusing and profitable 
companion, than a college dandy, << fresh from the 
mint," could have been. 

I stepped back into the room, and for a few moments 
gave the gaping multitude full scope for curiosity. 
They stood before me, they sat down by my side, 
they minutely examined my dress, they asked all sorts 
of questions concerning America, — ^* an' may be ye 
didn't know Mick Flanagan, or Pat Dogherty. An', 
by dad, she's a dacent body, and she never come the 
long way without a good bit in her purse," &c. When 
the wonder began to flag, I put my luggage into the 
care of the hostess, and went out to wander in the 
glen, and by chance came upon an old bridge, quite 
decayed, which is said to have been constructed by 
Cromwell to march his army over, when he wasted 
Ireland. The arches are still standing, and a foot- 
path is over them, which has been crossed by every 
tourist in the glen for a century or more. The name 
of Cromwell by every peasant of Ireland is of hated 
memory, and scarcely a decayed castle, bridge, or 
abbey, but what the stranger is told, << this is the doin' 
of the blackguard Cromwell." Finding a cabin, which 
from its size and appendages bore some signs of com- 
fort, I ventured in, hoping something a little tolerable 
might meet my eyes. But ** four-footed beasts," if not 
" creeping things," were here stalled and fed, and the 
people were of the same kin with the house I had left. 
] made my way upon the top of the rocks overlooking 
Bantry Bay, with a troop of ragged urchins in pur- 
suit, and a young spruce dandy, who told me all he 


knew of the marvellous, till the dusk of eveuing 
warned me back to my luggage and lodging. I re- 
coiled at going in. 

Ascending a rock overlooking the road, I had a 
view of things if not unutterable, yet quite inconceiv- 
able. Beneath me were a group darkening the street 
and air, of all ages, from ^< the man of grey hairs " to 
the nursling at the mother's breast. Not an indivi- 
dual, man, woman, or child, had on a whole garment, 
and many of them, like " Joseph's coat," were varie- 
gated with "many colours;" patches of all shades, 
with thread of all hues, adorned the limbs of these 
congregated rustics, who had heard of my arrival, and 
had come out to see the " wonderful body " that had 
left her "country and kin to say the poor Irish." 
Looking down upon them, my "eyes affected my 
heart." They were God's creatures, made in his 
image, and bound to the same tribunal with me ; 
thrown into different circumstances, they had deve- 
loped different traits, and many among them might 
have occupied better upon the little that had been 
given, than the more elevated aristocrat who looked 
down upon them with contempt. They looked up, some 
leaning upon their spades, some crouching under 
heavy burdens, and all silent as if waiting the opening 
of some oracle. Singing a hymn, in which all in- 
stinctively joined, if not devoutly ; I said a few kind 
words on the subject of temperance, and the regret I 
felt that I should find this glen given to the immorality 
of drinking, when a great part of Ireland had become 
80 sober. They murmured a response — "by dad, 
she's right," and slowly walked on, while I descended 
to enter the lodging. I felt myself in a peculiar pre- 
dicament, no escaping from this forbidding stopping- 
place, and these forbidding people ; it was a place and 
company quite different from any I had seen even in 
Connaught. I was pursued into the lodging-house, 
and went through a second and more fiery ordeal of 
staring. They came nearer, urged me to " smoke a 
blast," or to " take a drap," (notwithstanding my lecr 

N 2 

268 CO. OP CORK. [chap. xvi. 

ture,) talked of my coat and bonnet ; some bracing 
themselves against the wall, some sitting close by my 
side, and others squatting upon the ground at my 
feet. Fortunately for me, the organ of fear is not 
so largely developed as in some of more flexible tex- 
ture, and my greatest suffering arose from pity and 
disgust. " Can you give me a few potatoes ?" Four 
were brought in a saucer, and some dirty salt, pulver- 
ized with a knife, and likewise put tin a saucer. The 
company were all in attendance till the supper was 
ended. Hoping to thin the group in some way, I 
asked for water to bathe my feet. A little was brought 
in a pot, and placed before me. <^I cannot use it 
here." " Put it in the room," was the command. 

" The room !" Reader, suppose you look in. This 
room was up a broken stair-case, leading from the 
kitchen. A dilapidated door with a broken latch, like 
an inn among the far western wilds of America ; a 
floor of loose boards, gaping wide between joints into 
the kitchen below ; and all sorts of lumber, from the 
three-legged chair, broken chest, and crazy table, to 
the plough-share, with the worn-out gear of the ass, 
and basket for peat and manure. The bed and 
etceteras are unmentionables, and in this varied pro- 
fusion I was to spend the night. As my door was 
past all fastening, a company at whiskey and cards, in 
a chamber << near a kin," at every pause in the whiskey 
or play, would in turn push my door a little wider, 
and look in. This continued till one o'clock, when I, 
still sitting, knew by the " God bless you's," ^^^ "yell 
be late for the night," that the company were retir- 
ing, and placed myself in a position to sleep, had sleep 
been in attendance. But sleep or no sleep, the Sa1>- 
bath dawned pleasantly on tlus wicked den, and I 
hoped to be first in the kitchen ; but to my chagrin a 
goodly number were in waiting, and in ten minutes 
iTom my landing at the bottom of the stairs, not less 
than a score had arranged themselves, making sure of 
a suitable stand or sit, where the most favourable gape 
could be secured. Nor had one wasted a precious 


momeDt too long at the toilet. Some stood with hair 
erect, some with an apology for a shirt, and some with 
remnants of coats ; some with waistbands sufficiently 
strong to hold both hands and despairing legs, hang- 
ing with a deadly grasp by a tatter here and there ; 
some with dresses turned over their heads, and some 
pinned about their waists ; some with cloaks, and some 
with caps, and all with naked feet. They had all got 
most quietly fixed, when I gathered up my effects, put 
them in charge of the girl, and hurried into the glen, 
stopping neither to warn or rebuke. — A morning long 
to be remembered. 

Being told there was no church held in the place, 
and that Lord Bantry was a Protestant, lord or no 
lord, I determined to venture to his house, and if 
possible spend the day with him. " He's a convairsable 
body, and he'll make ye right welcome," said one that 
I passed on the way. At the gate- house, the cleanly 
woman met me at the door, and kindly invited me in 
to take breakfast. This unexpected courtesy was more 
to me than she imagined or I could express, for I had 
expected to spend the day fasting, probably among the 
rocks in the glen, unless by good fortune the " con- 
vairsable" lord should be pacific. The neat little cot- 
tage, and cleanly-spread table, were such a contrast to 
the den I had just left, that I felt that " mercy had 
not clean gone for ever," and I was still within the 
reach of something human. Breakfast being ended, a 
little girl was sent with me to the top of a high rock, 
in view of the cottage called Lord Bantry's "look- 
out," from which the wonders of the glen are seen to 
good advantage. Descending the rock, the little 
Mary returned to prepare for chapel, and I ventured 
to the cottage of Lord Bantry. It had a picturesque 
thatched roof in part, and was situated in a lawn free 
from rocks, sufficient to distinguish it as the abode of 
the « lord of the soil." 

This valley of romantic wildness cannot be de- 
scribed. To attempt a description of Glengariff would 
be a waste of words. Writers of different nations have 

270 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xvi. 

told of its eagles' nests ; its huge rocks, fluDg together 
in all shapes, overgrown with moss and ivy ; its lakes, 
rivers, and streamlets, its deep ravines and lofty moun- 
tains. And yet Glengariff can never be understood 
but by actual observation ; by walking or riding, by 
every mode that ever man invented, with spy-glass and 
telescope has it been explored, and yet beauties and 
wonders remain untold. 

I sent my card in to the noble lord ; and he re- 
turned it by the hunched-back girl in attendance, who 
civilly said his lordship was quite ill, was sorry he 
could not see me, but would send a boy to show me 
the curiosities of the glen. This was not the most 
desirable nor the most profitable way to spend the 
Sabbath, but stay in the whiskey-house I had left 
I would not, and from the gate where I breakfasted 
the family had gone to mass, and locked the cottage. 
I followed the boy, who took me an intricate path, 
and stationed me before the game-keeper's lodge, and 
seated me upon a stone. The game-keeper's wife 
invited me into a neat little parlor, and showed me 
every thing of interest about the mountain. She was 
English, and quite unreconciled to stop in Ireland. 
She was getting a Sabbath dinner, and showed me her 
bee-hives ; and here I tried the strength of her hospi- 
tality. Having been told that the English in Ireland 
were not so courteous to strangers as the Irish, I made 
a trial by saying, I had been told in New York that 
Ireland abounded in honey, but I had not had the 
good fortune to meet any, and I was quite fond of it. 
She made no reply, nor offered me either milk, bread, 
or honey. I have since met with many English who 
were exceedingly hospitable, and hope I may have no 
just cause of complaint against my ancestors, with 
whom I am happy to claim affinity. When I reached 
the lodge, the hospitality was repeated by the generous 
offer of a room and board without any charges. What 
could be kinder, and what could be cheaper ? 

" The house where you staid last night is not fit for 
any human creature, and you cannot be in a worse 


condition in any spot in the glen." "Blessed are the 
merciful.'* This family were English, had lived in 
Ireland twenty-five years, and had become so identi- 
fied in every way with the country, that they pre- 
ferred it to their own ; and no stranger could suppose 
by their phraseology or warmth of heart, but that they 
were of the genuine stock of Irish. They were Roman 

Two days rain kept me in the house, only giving 
opportunity for a call at the Saturday night's lodging- 
place to take my luggage. The man and his wife 
were taking breakfast at eleven o'clock. He was a 
pledge breaker, and she a professed teetotaller, only 
taking her hot punch when going to bed, and he a be- 
sotted drunkard. When I told them why I left the 
house, and represented to her the disgrace and sin of 
her employment, she left her bowl of tea, and went 
away. He hastily arose, and took down a large 
Douay Bible from a dirty shelf, over the kegs of whis- 
key, and only wanted time to " discoorse me/' to show 
both his knowledge of scripture, and the lawfulness of 
his employment. "Deacon Giles' distillery" could 
not have shown greater zeal. This wicked house had 
been, I was told, the ruin of the glen. It had been 
five years before baptized by Father Mathew, but he 
then gave pledges for a stated period, when requested, 
and when the time had expired, many rushed head- 
long into the fatal vortex. " They are too much for 
me," said the poor priest, " since that publican's house 
has been opened." 

272 CO. OP CORK. [chap. rm. 


Rambles in GlengarifT— Household Manure — E^nd Little Guide 
— A Gallant Offer— Splendid Interior of the Slated House — 
A Rare and Lofty L«ider — Perilous Transit — Wild Natives 
— ^Dwelling of the Three Sisters — Spiritual Fallow Ground — 
Man sometimes behind the Lower Animals — The Author 
delivers a Short Sermon — Good-bye to Glengariff and the 
Hospitable Family of the Gatekeeper — Lakes and Mountains 
— PubUcan versus Priest — Ride among Turf Baskets — Early 

Hearing there was a Protestant school in a distant 
part of the glen, with the guidance of the little " sure 
futted" niece of my benefactress, I made my way 
thither. On our route we passed a couple of rocks, 
celebrated for having been the abode of a family of 
seven for three years and a half. Lord Bantry at last 
built them a cabin, and turned them into it. This 
novel habitation is composed of two rocks, meeting 
over head, like the roof of a house, and so wide at bot- 
tom that there was room for a bed-stead. A fire was built 
by the side of the rock inside — " As all the world might 
see," the smoke issuing from the apertures at either end, 
according to the whim of the wind. The upper end 
of the rocks are so snugly joined, that they could be 
closed with leaves and brush, as the occupants might 
choose. It seemed impossible that the room could 
contain seven living moving beings, with " all appur« 
tenances to boot;*' but so it did. The good woman 
was often heard singing at her wheel in front of her 
house, where she sat spinning by the side of a clear 
stream, under branches of evergreens, while her five 
ruddy children were playing around her. Many a 
passer-by, on his way through the glen, turned in " to 
see this great sight," and left a little in charity, which 
kept these happy tenants more than content ; for it is 
said they were quite unwilling to leave when the man- 
built-cabin was in readiness. 

CHAP, xvn.] CO. OF CORK. 273 

Our path was over rocks, through mud and bogs, 
till we reached the abode of the Protestant teacher, 
who was sick, consequently her school was suspended. 
She had two infants, the youngest two days old, and was 
living in the house of her husband's mother. Though 
they could boast of Protestant rearing in the town of 
Bandon, and were comfortable in land and cattle, yet 
the cabin was a genuine dirty one, bearing the same 
marks of degradation as their less enlightened neigh- 
bours. The teacher showed some specimens of needle- 
work, which were quite creditable, and conversed with 
a share of good sense ; but the impress of the virtuous 
woman, " who looketh well to the ways of her house- 
hold," was not there. She had five pounds a year for 
teaching, three of which were paid by a Protestant 
society, the other two by tlie parents of the children. 
It certainly told much for her philanthropy, to go upon 
this desolate mountain, and "do what she could" for 
the benefit of the wild mountaineers, for such a scanty 

A bowl of stirabout, glowing in melted butter, was 
presented by the mother, but I was not competent to 
the imdertaking. With much difficulty I persuaded 
her to allow me to take my own way, for I had long 
since been so divested of sectarianism, that Protestant 
filth was no more palatable than Roman Catholic. I 
here speak plainly, because neither the scantiness of 
their means or cabin made such intolerable house- 
keeping necessary. We then visited a national school, 
and here was a picture deserving a glen. A female 
teacher first saluted us, with a company of girls before 
her, plying the needle. " I taiches so win', ma am, and 
they gets along finely,'* presenting shirts they were 
making. " But do you give no other lessons ?" " I 
doesn't, ma'am ; they can go to the master if they 
wishes to larn raidin', but they says they bee's too 

The master was busy at his desk, his cap put on 
with quite an air of dandyism, and the sly urchins 
were cutting and carving for themselves. At last the 

N 3 

274 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xvii. 

stripling approached, welcomed me very civilly, and 
added, " I am quite ill, am but young, and have much 
to learn before I can expect a great salary .'^ This was 
good sense. His salary did not exceed ten pounds. 
In short, the school as a whole, was such a place as 
every child should shun. A boisterous altercation 
took place between the master and mistress about the 
key of the closet, she insisting she would carry it 
home, as she should be first in the morning, and want 
the work ; he protesting for that very reason he would 
not allow it, because he had articles that were valu- 
able to him, and they should not be disturbed. She 
threatened to acquaint the priest. ** The sooner the 
better, and ye'U find ye're talking to a man of sense." 
The children of the master, and girls of the mistress, 
manifested, by the lighting up of the countenance, 
that each was ready to fight for his or her own general ; 
and we left, never learning how the battle was de- 

Thursday. — Going out to call at the hotel, I turned 
into a bye-path, and seeing a row of cabins, went to 
one, supposing I could take a nearer route than the 
public road, by inquiring the way. Putting in my 
head, I saw misery doubly distilled. I at first was 
met by two yearling calves, and there being no win- 
dow in the cabin, I could not well see into the interior, 
and concluded that it was nothing less or more than 
a cowhouse. But perseverance showed me it was the 
abode of six full>grown mortals, master, mistress, 
and four daughters, sitting upon stools before a peat 
fire. On the left was a pile of manure, which the cow 
and calves had been providing from the preceding 
November. This manure each morning is pressed 
down, and a little dry straw or leaves put over, thus 
forming a solid mass, which being kept warm both by 
pressure and a fire, the owners affirm, makes it much 
richer. On the right was a board extending from the 
comer of the fire-place, of sufficient length for a bed ; 
and over this board, upon the ground, was straw 
spread for the whole family's sleeping-place. The 

CHAP, xvn.] CO. OF CORK. 275 

furniture was a pot to boil potatoes, an old basket, a 
few stools, and an old cupboard with plates, and — 

" Broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show." 

To my first inquiry, " can you tell me the way to 
the hotel?" I received no answer, all looking with 
amazement at the first and only bonnet that had ever 
looked in, and said good morning to them. Again I 
asked the way ; the old man rose and said, " come and 
I'll show ye," and led me to a path among the rocks. 
" An' may be ye're a stranger, an' 111 not put ye out 
of the way." Here was old patriarchal law, though I 
was told they could neither read or write. This hotel, 
which the natives say is ** dacent and proper," is quite 
commodious, and, being the only one in the glen, com- 
mands all the visitors from various parts of the world. 
My Saturday night's entertainment was a just rebuke 
for turning a deaf ear to the counsel of my friend John, 
v^hen he said, " ye couldn't do better, ye'll find every 

On my return, the kind little Mary, with clean 
apron and nicely combed hair, was ready to accompany 
me up the glen to the " Eagle's Nest ;" and no nest 
was ever more famed in history, as the reader shall 
presently hear. On our way to this place we had a 
river to cross without a bridge, and the late rains had 
so swollen it, that the stepping-stones were covered. 
Mary waded the stream, and I made my way over 
rocks, bogs, and hillocks, till despairing of success ; a 
ragged peasant, driving a horse with two baskets 
of lime across his back, called out to Mary, in Irish, 
** I'll go and lift her across." He was old, and I did 
not think it safe ; and beside, the kindness was too 
great. He rolled up his pantaloons, waded the river, 
and proffered his services in Irish. I declined ; when 
he found a place where, taking me by the hand, he 
helped me, at considerable peril, over the slimy rocks ; 
and, ascending the precipitous bank, he braced his feet, 
pulled me up the steep, and set me on terra firma. He 
could not understand English, nor I Irish; but he 

276 CO. OF CORE. [chap. xvn. 

understood the meaning of a few pennies put into his 
hand, and seemed quite satisfied. 

In half an hour we reached the slated house under 
the mountain ; and, as a slated house is considered a 
step in advance towards gentility, and the tenant of 
this had leased the whole << Eagle's Nest," and all were 
sub-tenants under him, he deserves a conspicuous place 
in the history of this glen. The entrance of the house 
was blockaded by an old worn-out horse, with two 
baskets of lime on his back, which the mother and two 
daughters were striving in vain to let down. The 
maidens stepped aside, and we crawled under the straw 
bridle of the horse, and entered a room, which could 
boast the same lineage as the one I had visited in the 
morning, only the manure was not so evenly patted 
down, but was in isolated hillocks about the room, and 
the calf and pig were leisurely walking between them. 
The conveniences were all near the fire, but the old 
lady made a breakage of sufficient width to place 
a stool, and a piece of turf to elevate my feet from 
the ashes. Here I was seated, with all the family 
around me upon the hearth, except a boy, whose 
gaping curiosity could not draw him from a ladder 
on which he was swinging in one corner of the cabin. 

" Do you read Irish ?" I asked the woman. With a 
pause of astonishment she looked upon me, then upon 
her girls, and, with a child-like laugh, said, " I read ! 
the like of me read ! Not a hap'orth of Irish or Eng- 
lish." The daughters were in like condition, and as 
much diverted at my strange question as the mother. 
Speaking of the goodness and mercv of God, they 
sobered at once ; and after talking a few moments, we 
left without presenting any books, as they could not 

We tried another cabin ; in like condition, only 
darker, and the roof thatched. Then attempted a 
third, but here the pile of manure was so elevated, and 
the smoke and darkness of the cabin such, that both 
Mary and prudence urged a retreat. The children from 
the thickly clustered cabins crowded forth, and one 

CHAP, xvii.] CO. OF CORK. 277 

bawled out, "A penny for a crass, ma'am." This 
means, translated, a ribbon crossed upon the arm, to b^ 
worn on St. Patrick's day, which was near at hand!. 
Never, never, had pictures like these met my eyes. I 
was nearly struck mute. Human nature had never 
before shown me what she could do when allowed to 
have her own way. Yet these people can say the 
Lord's prayer, go to chapel, wear a decent cap and 
cloak, and are not so poor but that all have cattle, and 
some money in reserve. The kind Lord Bantry, it is 
said, gives every rational indulgence, and seldom sends 
any empty away in distress ; but he never enters their 
cabins to rebuke their filth, or offer them premiums for 
any improvements they might make, as some have done 
with good success. 

The " Eagle's Nest " was the last wonder, deriving 
its name from an eagle having made its nest in a 
fissure of the rock towards the top of the mountain. 
And you are told that a man named Sullivan sup- 
ported a family of six, as he testified, by going to the 
nest daily, and taking the flesh of lambs, hares, and 
deer, which were left for the young ones. This 
tremendous mountain has a hideous, grand, and awful 
appearance, looking down upon these wretched abodes 
that are smoking beneath. 

But the getting home was the next question. De- 
termining to cross the river when anything like proba- 
bility appeared, I saw something tolerable, though my 
watchful guide said we should " be destroyed" getting 
through the bog and rushes on the other side. So 
engrossed were my thoughts on what I had seen at the 
Eagle's Nest, that I heeded neither the admonitions of 
the careful child nor the peril that lay in my path. I 
stepped upon the rocks, not once looking or thinking 
what might impede me on the other side, telling the 
girl to go on before me. She insisted, " Ye'd be lost, 
ye cannot get up the bank," but after much hesitation 
she reluctantly obeyed. I soon found myself in a peri- 
lous situation ; the rocks slippery and far asunder, the 
water deep and turbid, and my Indian rubber shoes were 

278 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xvir. 

the mo8t unpromising part of my security, as I could nei- 
ther take them off, nor maintain my position, but with 
a great effort. I saw my folly, and commended the 
wisdom of the child, whom I directed to take a 
horizontal direction up the bank, and with a kind of 
vacant anxiety bordering on petrifaction, I watched 
till her well-guided feet stood on the steep bank over 
my head. What could I do ? To retrace my steps or 
stay where I was, looked alike impossible, and to try 
to ascend the bank would be almost madness. There 
was no alternative but onward. I clasped a bunch of 
hanging twigs, they loosened the earth, and I felt myself 
sliding. The presence of mind of the guardian angel 
Mary saved me ; she caught the twigs, and with an 
almost supernatural grasp she said, '< take hold of the 
top, lady, and I will hold fast at the bottom so that 
you can't pull them up." It was done, I was on the 
bank, and not till 1 looked down the precipitous steep 
did I realize the presumptuous step I had taken. But 
my stupidity was God's instrument to save me ; my 
mind was so absorbed on what I had seen, that it was 
deadened to every thing beside, and fear or concern 
was not awakened. The watchful child, as though my 
life had been intrusted to her care, guided my way 
with the discretion of an experienced general. 

We made a safe journey home. The strange things I 
had seen, and the difficulties I had surmounted, — ^were 
sufficient for meditation ; but above all how to approach 
Lord Bantry, and entreat him to do as others had 
done, visit the cabins and work some change for the 
better — was a weighty incubus which I could not 
shake off. As I passed his cottage, a message was 
sent out inviting me in ; but the lateness of the hour, 
and the plight of my feet, together with the state of 
my mind, urged me on, lest as a whole he might mistake 
my drabbled dress, twisted awry bonnet, and absence 
of mind for " a loss of the sinse," and I hurried home. 

The next morning, a little more restored, I called 
at his door, but the butler informed me he could see 
no one, as he had a bleeding at the nose ; so he escaped 

CHAP, xvn.] CO. OF CORK. 279 

what he ought to have heard years before. I took 
another day's ramble up to the head of the glen, a di»» 
tance of nearly three miles, and never was a glen to 
me like this. From the top of a rock sometimes a 
shout burst upon my ear, then some wild mountain girl 
would cross my path, then a peasant or two, with 
braided straw saddles and baskets across the wo-begone 
donkey, with a salute of " God save ye kindly, lady" — 
then some way-worn old woman, with a rope about 
her forehead, supporting a ponderous sack of potatoes 
or turf upon her back, would greet me. Meeting a 
path leading from the main road, I followed it, and 
seeing a broken cart, supposed that human beings 
must be among these rocks, and upon my left I saw an 
aperture into what I thought might be a cave or moun- 
tain den, and approaching, found a pig nestled in some 
straw, and a voice from within called out, " May-be 
ye'd like to come in and take a hait by the fire." 

Had this invitation proceeded from a sepulchre, it 
could not have been much mor^ surprising — and not 
half so unnatural for the abode of the dead as the 
living. I stooped down and walked over the obstinate 
pig — stumbled in, and here saw patient misery in some>- 
what a new habiliment. 

Against a huge rock — ^for there was no chimney — 
there burned a few little twigs of wood. Three sisters — 
the eldest seventeen, the second twelve, and the third 
two, all nestled in straw, for there were not stools 
enough for each ; and neither bed or table encumbered 
the room. 

" Where do you sleep ?" I asked. 

"Poor folks must do as they can, ma'am — we lie 
here," pointing to a pile of straw on the left. The 
little child now asked for a potato. " I have none for 
you." Not a particle of food did this destitute abode 
contain ; and giving the child a couple of hard biscuits, 
she gnawed them greedily — ^for the first time probably 
having had a piece of bread in her life. 

" How do you live ?" 

'< As we can, ma'am." I then spoke of Jesus Christ. 

280 CO. OF CORK. [chap. xvn. 

^* I don't understand ye," said she. " Do you not know 
whom I mean by Jesus Christ ?" I asked. 

She could not comprehend me, and the second sister 
said, " We don't go to church or chapel, ma'am." I en- 
quired how long they had lived tSiere. " One year, 
ma'am." They had no father, and the mother had gone 
from home, begging, I supposed . I knew not what to say 
to them, nor what to do for them ; they were perishing 
for *' lack of knowledge," and the beasts of the desert 
had more comfortable dwellings than they.* 

This day finished my tour in the glen, and it had 
been the most peculiar of any I had hail in Ireland. I 
had learned to a demonstration, that man left to 
instinct alone, will not make himself as comfortable as 
the beasts of the field, or birds of the air — they will 
construct their habitations and nests when wanted, 
with perfect system and evea with mechanical taste — 
while man, with no stimulus to activity but barely the 
food that sustains him, will lie down in stupid content, 
in the most filthy, disorderly habitation, and even make 
a merit of doing so. Here were literally exemplified 
the words of Job, when he said of the poor — " They 
embraced the rock for a shelter." " For want and 
famine they were desolate." " To dwell in the 
cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the 
rocks — among the bushes they brayed, under the 
nettles they were gathered together." 

Often have I seen the poor famished women gather- 
ing nettles to boil, because they had no other food. 
And here I would add, if any one thinks that man has 
any thing to boast since the fall, let him explore the 
mountains, the glens, the caves, and even the towns of 
Ireland: and, lest he should find a loop-hole for his 
pride, let him go to the places where the Bible is 
known, and if the grace of God have not changed the 
heart, he will find the same degradation in morals as in 
those places where it has not been read. 

* This is not mentioned as a specimen of the ignorance of 
the peasantry as a whole, for in no place did they appear dark 
on the subject of Christ's death and sufiTerings. 


Saturday morning^ March 7th, — Had made all ready 
for leaving the Glen. My obligations to the family 
where I stopped were of no ordinary kind. 

'< I was a stranger, and they took me in." I had 
enjoyed religious intercourse by conversation, by read- 
ing the Scriptures, and by prayer, in a more familiar 
way than in any family I had visited ; and though this 
glen, in point of filth and whiskey-drinking, stands 
pre-eminent, yet they suffered the plainest rebuke 
without: a retort. They received tracts, and thanked 
me after reading them, for giving them such kind ad- 
vice ; and the priest, who lived some miles from the 
glenv sent a message by his clerk, thanking me for the 
advice I had given, and the tracts I had distributed. 
And though I would not intersperse my journal with 
preaching a long sermon in ^very chapter, yet here it 
would be timely to say, that a right spirit and a right 
manner have much to do in the success of introducing 
any principles clashing with long cherished ones of our 

Should a sanctimonious monk, full of zeal for his 
church, with crucifix and rosary in his hand, come 
into our houses and tell us we are all going to perdi- 
tion, because we did not say his prayers, and embrace 
his faith, and insist that we should assemble our house- 
hold to hear the truth from his lips, should we do it ? 
Should he rail on our clergy, and denounce our 
Sabbath schools, think you he would get a patient 
hearing ? 

Let us reverse this picture — let us allow our brethren 
of the human family the same prepossessions, however 
absurd they may be, till, by a course of Christian cha- 
rity, we show them that the religion we profess is 
indeed what we call it, a religion of love, and calcu- 
lated to do the most permanent good. 

Should any one visit Glengariff— if it be Glenga- 
riff still — and from cabin to cabin commence an attack 
upon popery, and priests, images, and the "blessed 
Virgin," he might be grateful if he escaped unhurt ; 
but let him go with a heart warm with a Saviour's love 

CO. OF CORK. [chap. xvii. 

— ^let him tell them of this love — ^let him tell them if 
they do not repent, they will all likewise perish — ^let 
him rebuke them sharply for all their profanity, 
Sabbath-hreaking, drunkenness, <Ssc. — and let him 
pointedly tell tliem that all this wickedness comes from 
hatred to God, from wicked hearts of unbelief, and 
they will respond — ^** An' you're the one that knows 
if* — ^they will gather around him, they will ask him to 
read, they will enquire for his books, and sometimes 
they have asked such to pray for them. One said to 
another, "Aint she a Protestant?'* "I don't care 
what she is," was the spirited reply, "nothing but 
love to God could bring her across the ocean to see 
such a poor people as we, and stop in our cabins to 
discoorse us, and give us good books. She's been well 
rair'd, the cratur, and that she has." 

But we must not stop in this glen. The morning 
had opened, the sun looked out upon a clear sky, and 
the boy who was to accompany me had eaten his pota- 
toes, and was ready at an early hour. "You shall 
give us nothing but your prayers, and you shall have 
ours ; and if ye wouldn't think it too much to leave 
the little book to Mary, she loves it so well, I will 
cover it with linen, and she shall read it twice a day, 
we should be more than paid." 

This little Mary had entwined herself around my 
heart by so many acts of kindness, as well as her good 
sense and integrity, that when she took the little book, 
and said, " I thank you kindly," I felt like snatching 
her from the Glen, and fixing her in a soil where she 
should no longer " blush unseen." 

Master and Mistress, Mary, and the little affection- 
ate dog Vixen, stood out upon the clean pathway and 
lawn before the cottage — a moment's pause — "and 
well never forget ye," was the last sound that fell upon 
my ear ; for, as I proffered my hand, and saw the tear 
glistening in the kind eye of little Mary, I hastened 
away without speaking. 

I looked back, the sun was shining upon this little 
group; the holly, the arbutus, and the laurel — my 

CHAP, xvn.] CO. OF CORK. 283 

favourite shrubs of the Glen — were quivering in it? 
rays at their side. I was going forth upon wild, 
heathy mountains, and should see the little company 
no more, '*till the heavens be rolled together as a 
scroll." They had been more than kind, and how had 
I repaid them ? Had I done what I could to scatter 
light in their path ? Are they no worse for my com- 
ing among them ? was my heart-felt enquiry. Have 
the evening prayers which they nightly asked me tp 
put up in their family, and the reading of the sweet 
words of eternal life, which for the last ten days had 
been heard in their dwelling — had these entered into 
the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and would they 
return with a blessing upon their heads ? 

The little Vixen watched the return of the family 
into the cottage, and leaped after me, keeping the oppo- 
site side of the stream till he had entered the thickest 
of the wood, and then attempted crossing it, nor could 
we urge him back ; and not till the little Mary ap- 
peared and turned him away would he leave us, and 
we soon lost sight of them for ever. 

Our path lay over brambles amid rivulets and walls, 
up one of the tallest mountains in the glen, where 
many a traveller has ascended to take one of the most 
picturesque views in all Glengariff. 

It was a long and difficult ascent, but courage kept 
me steady, and when compelled to sit down upon a 
crag or hillock, the smoke of a cabin by the side of 
some rock or hill, the shouting of children, the towering 
mountains stretched beyond the glen, and sleeping 
lakes that lay at our feet, made such a picture that I 
forgot my weariness, and the long Irish miles I had 
yet to walk. I was told that there are in this glen, 
and upon the mountains, three hundred aud sixty -five 
lakes. This I am not prepared to prove or dispute, 
yet, judging from what I met, I think it may not be 
improbable. The hill was ascended, we reached the 
newly walled road made upon the top of a narrow 
ridge of mountain, with a glen on each hand at our 
feet, a precipitous steep of many yards leading to these 

284 CO OF KERRY. [chap. xvn. 

ravines, which in most places made a dizzy and fearful 
sight to the traveller. At length the tunnel, hewn 
through a rock like the arch of a bridge, met our ejes. 
Here was the wonder of wonders. For the distance of 
eighty perches a hole is cut sufficiently wide and 
high for coaches to pass, and the only light admitted is 
from the entrance at eaeh end, and one little aperture 
in the top. The water was percolating through the 
rock, and darkness made it a prison not the most 
inviting for a long tarry. Giving full scope to my 
voice in singing, the echo was tremendous. The 
grandeur that burst upon the view when we emerged, 
was, if possible, greater than when we entered it, nor 
did it cease till we had walked two miles. We then 
came in sight of a tolerable looking house at a distance, 
and found it belonged to the priest of the glen. I was 
fatigued, and willing to avail myself of the acquaintance 
I had with him through his clerk, whom he requested 
to thank me for my labours in the glen, we went in. 
The priest had gone, but the kind housekeeper, so far 
as words could speak kindness, manifested the most 
ardent desire to make me comfortable, but could give 
me no refreshment, as they lived far from any town, 
and their bread was all brought from Ban try. " But 
ye'U meet him on the way, and ye'll know him by the 
sign of the white horse which he rides." The boy, 
like my old man, began to talk of the lateness of the 
hour, and we hurried away. "Within three miles of 
Kenmare we saw the sign of the « white horse," and 
without preface or apology, I introduced myself. He 
thanked me kindly for lecturing his people at the glen, 
and said he had got discouraged. Five years before, 
the good Father Mathew had made them all temperate, 
but that publican's house had upset the whole work. 
I begged him to visit their cabins, and lecture them 
on their filth. — " I have done so, but they heeded 
nothing I could say.** He lived seven miles from 
them, had another parish in charge, and he knew not 
how to remedy these evils ; " but to-morrow I have 
been thinking of making a trial from the altar, and I 


would take the liberty of using your name.** Poor 
man ! if indeed he felt the necessity of using nje as a 
scare-crow, certainly I should not object, but I doubted 
the efficacy of the remedy. 

While talking with the priest, who directed me to 
the best lodgings in town in his name, a ragged young 
man, with a cart and high railing about it, filled with 
turf baskets, drawn by a miserable looking pony, passed 
us. This was the time for the onset. My boy had 
been complaining nxuch that the ^* night would be 
heavy on him," and he contrived to make a happy 
disposal of me for his own benefit. This was done by 
taking down the railings and fixing the baskets in a 
kind of circle, so that by sitting on one that was inverted, 
with my feet in the space, I could be snugly poised. 
When I reached the cart the driver said, " Ye had a 
wairy walk, and may be ye'd be kind enough to sit on 
my humble cart, and ride to town ; we've fixed a salt 
here, will ye get up ?" 

This was too plain to be misunderstood, and too 
polite to be rejected : the boy responded, " and may be 
he'd be willin' to carry the luggage too." " That in- 
deed," said the accommodating man. " Then ye'll not 
want m^, and I can go back." This was done, and 
well done on their part, and they assisted in adjusting 
me and my luggage. The boy was paid and turned 
about, and I, with a new companion, and in somewhat 
a new mode of travelling, was under favourable aus- 
pices for reaching the town. My young driver talked 
fluently of America, and said he should go there but 
for the little gal he had married, who would be lone- 
some without him. 

" The little gal you have married ! you are not yet 
twenty !" 

"That I aint, and the gal is but thirteen or four- 

"Nonsense, nonsense. What can you do with a 

" And may be I don't know ; why, work, and take 
care of her." 

286 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xvm. 

" And how much do you have a day ?" 

<' Sometimes the six pence, and when I gits a job 
with the pony, its a shilling or fifteen pence." 

" And with this you expect to support a wife ?" 

" With the turn that she can git now and then from 
a lady.** 

He was a sharp-nosed stinted boy, not in appear- 
ance more than sixteen, yet he had as high hopes of 
aggrandizement as though a candidate for parliament. 
Enviable content I happy misery ! 


Accident at Eenmare — Arriyal at Killarney — Dread 
of Heretical Books — Turk WaterfaU — Funeral Wail — 
America's good fame — ^Lions of the Lakes — ** Sweet Innis^ 
fallen" — ^White-robed Procession— A Third Funeral — Dry 
Bones— Battle of the Ghosts—** Pair of Slippers"— Test of 
Orthodoxy — Staring! Staring! — Another Hospitable Gate- 
house—Lord Kenmare's Park — Calm Sabbath Mom — The 
Little Petitioner for the * * Word of God"-^ Door of Acoess. 

It was certainly an object of no small interest at Ken- 
mare, that such a '< dacent body" was not in a coach, and 
the fat contented old lady, to whom the priest directed me, 
knocked the ashes from her pipe, saying, <' and its you 
that's the lady." The village assembled in the evening 
and listened to reading till a late hour, ever finding it 
a better way before distributing tracts to read some- 
thing interesting, which always awakened a curiosity 
to become better acquainted with them. Sabbat 
morning, going out to an ivy covered decayed castle 
near by, and attempting to climb a wall, my cape blew 
over my face, my foot slipped, and I fell upon the 
pavement, and so great was the jar, that for a moment 
I supposed my fate was sealed, and that in Ireland, 
and in that unpromising looking town, I must endure 
probably months of sufiering with a disease of the 
spine, as I had done in New York. A company were 

CHAP, xvin.] CO. OF KERRY. 287 

passing to mass, and two old men helped me a little 
upright, and placed me against the wall, leaving me to 
my meditations, which were not the most flattering. I 
looked about upon the desolate town, and recoiled at 
the thought of being left in it, and made an effort to 
arise ; with considerable suffering I reached my lodging, 
and in a little time quite regained my former position. 
Heard a dull sermon with dull ears. 

This town has nothing interesting but a suspension 
bridge, with two richly ornamented pillars, and a hand- 
some pier. The next morning, though urged to stay, I 
bade adieu, started for the fairy land of Killarney, and 
rode through a wild tract of twenty miles, till the " Up- 
per Lakes" of the far-famed Killarney met my sight. 
Nothing here appeared peculiarly striking ; the day 
was chill, the company dull, and I was making up my 
mind, that if I had visited this spot for novelty or 
beauty, I might better have staid in Glengariff. I 
stepped in to enquire for lodgings, and was quite happy 
when safely out upon the street ; and, enquiring for 
Mrs. Casey, to whom I had been recommended at 
Cork, I found a comfortable home during my stay in 
that place. 

Ross Island was the first in the morning to which I 
resorted; and, reaching the gate of a beautiful 
thatched cottage, saw the proprietor in the garden, who 
invited me through the gate, and accompanied me 
about the several walks. Though in the month of 
March, it was blooming with greens and flowers. The 
different openings upon the lakes were made with a 
most happy skill, and the parts which were left wild 
were selected with judgment. The gardeners of Ire- 
land display much taste in adjusting their rough stones, 
their rustic seats and summer-houses ; and in fitting 
up a pleasure ground, they seem to possess a correct 
judgment in knowing what to cultivate, and what to 
leave wild. This spot possesses beauties which to 
an admirer of nature cannot fail to please. 

At ten I returned, the hour that the labourers break- 
fast ; and the family finished at eleven, so late are the 

288 CO. OF KERRY. [chap, xviii. 

Irish about rising in the morning, that the best part of 
the day is often lost. I sauntered through the town, 
and here Glengariff scenes were acted over by a mob 
of boys, women, and girls with cloaks over head, some 
in pursuit, and others running before, and then stop- 
ping to have a full gaze. So much had I heard of the 
beauties of Killamey, that I was quite disappointed in 
the refinement of the people. A boy accompanied me 
to the Victoria hotel, situated on the bank of the lower 
lake, a mile from town. In summer this is well filled 
with company from various parts of the world to visit 
these enchanting lakes. I was quite annoyed by a boy 
asking for books. I gave him a copy of the Douay 
gospels, and he went away pleased ; in an hour he was 
running after me, crying, " This is a Protestant book, 
and I wont have it.** Telling him what it 9Kras, and 
asking why he was so afraid of it, he answered, '< I 
rather have my own religion, and 'Should not like to 
take a Protestant book ;" he took it a second time, and 
at evening came running, and rudely thrust it into my 
hand, saying, <* I know this is a Protestant book, and 
I will not have it.** The boy seemed grieved, that, as 
he supposed, I had deceived him. He had carried the 
book to his mother, and she had told him it was one 
of the Protestant tracts that had been distributed there 
to injure Romanism. A little girl of twelve stood 
listening, and said, " Madam, will you let me have the 
book ? You shouldn't be giving your books to every 
scrawl in the street." Fearing, notwithstanding her 
judicious caution, she might be a " scrawl," I declined, 
telling her to go home and think of it, and if she con- 
tinued to want one, to call at my lodgings Sabbath 
evening at six o'clock, and she should have one. 
« Tis the Word of God I want, ma'am." 

March \Zih, — I took a walk of four miles to the ce- 
lebrated Turk mountain to see the cascade, and when 
I had reached the foot of it, I sat down upon a seat to 
meditate undisturbed on this beautiful sight. Four 
white sheets of water have for ages been coursing down 
a rock of eighty feet in height, wearing channels of 

CHAP, xvra.] CO. OF KERRY. 

considerable depth, and on their way have received 
some small rivulets issuing from the sides of the moun- 
tain, pouring together into one basin at the bottom. 
The mountains on either hand are lofty, wild, and 
precipitous. I attempted to make my way over the 
slippery stones to reach the basin, but found it too 
hazardous, being out of the hearing of any human 
being, and should I tumble into the stream, or break a 
bone, my fate would be irrecoverable. 

An hour was gone, and admiration, if possible, was 
encreasing ; but looking to my left, I saw a path lead- 
ing up the mountain, and followed it. In a few yards 
it opened a small view of the lakes, and as you ascend 
the view widens and widens, till you see spread out 
before you lawns, the middle and lower lakes, with 
their beiautiful islands, and the grand Kerry mountains 
stretching out beyond. Seats at proper distances are 
arranged, where the traveller may rest, and feast his 
eyes on the beauties beneath his feet. But when the 
top is reached, the awful precipice overhanging the 
cascade, would endanger the life of any one to over- 
look, were there not a railing erected for the safety of 
the visitor. Here I sat, and thanked God that he had 
given me eyes to see, and a mind to enjoy, a scene 
like this. More than three thousand miles from my 
native country, on the top of this awfully wild moun- 
tain, where many a stranger's foot had trod, I was en- 
joying a good reward for all my labor. The sun was 
shining upon the unruffled lakes, the birds were hop- 
ping from bough to bough, mingling their songs with 
the untiring cascade, the partridge fluttered in the brake 
at a distance, but I knew no venomous serpent was 
there. I was unwilling to leave the spot, and had not 
the promise of returning to witness a funeral at two 
o'clock urged me away, my stay might have been pro- 
tracted till sunset. I lingered and looked, and like 
Eve when leaving paradise, said — 

'* And must I leave thee I" 

I returned not till I had explored the end of the 


290 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xvin. 

woodman's path, over a bridge that crossed the chasm 
bejond, and then took a last look of this coy maiden, 
standing once more at her feet. Though she cannot 
boast the awful grandeur of the bold Niagara of my 
native country, yet she has beauties which can never 
cease to please. She has an unassuming modesty 
which compels you to admire, because she seems not 
to covet your admiration. She is so concealed that 
the eye never meets her till close upon the white folds 
of her drapery, and when, but a few paces from her 
feet, I turned to take another look, I could not see 
even " the hem of her garment." 

On returning to the gate, it was locked ; the woman 
who had kept it had given me the key ; I had care- 
lessly left it in the door, without locking it, and she 
had fastened the gate and taken the key. I could nei- 
their make myself heard, nor climb the wall ; a sad 
dilemma ! A return to the cascade seemed to be the 
only alternative ; but following the wall, an end was 
happily found, and the road soon gained. Stopping at 
a neat little lodge, bread and honey were brought to 
me in such a simple patriarchal manner, that the 
days of Rebecca and Ruth were before me. 

The loud " wail" for the dead soon sounded from 
the mountain. " She's a proper woman," said one, 
"and her six children are all very sorry for her, 
the cratur." I went on to the gate till the multitudinous 
procession arrived, bearing the coffin on a couple of 
sheets, twisted so that four men could take hold one at 
each end, and carry it along. "Women were not only 
howling, but tears were fast streaming from many an eye. 
When they reached the abbey, the grave was not dug, 
and here was a new and louder wail struck up. While 
the grave was digging, eight women knelt down by 
the coffin, and putting their hands upon it, and beating 
with force, set up a most terrific lamentation. The 
pounding upon the coffin, the howling, and the shovel- 
ing of earth from the grave, made together sounds and 
sights strange, if not unseemly. The body was to be 
deposited where a brother and a sister had been buried, 

CHAP, xvni.] CO. OF KERRY. 291 

and when they reached the first coffin, took it out, and 
found the second rotten, they took up the mouldered 
pieces and flung them away. The bones of the legs 
and arms, with the skull, were put together, and laid 
by the side of the coffins ; the new coffin was put 
down, and the old one, which was the last of the two 
former, was placed upoi! it. 

When all was finished, they knelt down to offer up 
a prayer for the dead, which was done in silence, and 
they walked away with much decency. 

Mucrus Abbey is of itself enough for a book ; but as 
so much has been said of it to the purpose, and as mi- 
nute descriptions of castles or abbeys is not the object 
of this journal, the reader will find elsewhere what 
could not have room in a work like this. 

On my way to the cascade, I stopped at the gate of 
the lodge on the borders of the lake, and the keeper 
said I could not be allowed to enter on any conditions. 
« I am a stranger from New York," said I " Come in, 
come in" was the response. She conducted me through, 
and pointed me to the best views upon the lake ; and 
seeing a pier built out to an island, I followed, and 
found a delightfully fitted up spot with caverns, sitting 
rooms, rustic seats, and walks. There was once an old 
castle built upon this rock, and caves were made by 
the wearing of the water in the rock on which the 
castle stood. Going to the dwelling upon the shore, 
men-servants and maid-servants came out to salute 
me, yet none asked me in, though welcome was given 
me to visit all the domain without any restriction. 
But America is all the theme by the labouring class of 
Ireland ; glad was I, that, notwithstanding her abomi - 
nable slavery, yet here is a little green spot, where I 
could rest and look my enemies in the face undaunted. 
The free states of my own country have ever been an 
asylum to the foreigner, and the reward of his labour 
has been given him. The ragged labourer has soon 
exchanged his tatters for decent apparel, the bare feet 
of the cabin girl have been covered, and the basket 
has been taken from the back of the peasant woman. 


292 CO. OF KERRY. [chap, xviii. 

I would acknowledge with gratitude that, throughout 
the length and breadth of Ireland, the poor have re- 
quired no letter of introduction but the name of Ame- 
rica. It has opened the gate of many a porter^s lodge ; 
it has shown me into manj a prohibited pleasure 
ground, and given me many a potato or cup of iftilk in 
the cabin, when the aristocrat would have looked with 
suspicion on the letter of introduction from the best 

One of the servants was fitting for a voyage to 
Boston, and asked what she should most need to re- 
commend her. I answered, cleanliness ; that want of 
this could not be supplied by any qualification, how- 
ever good, in New England. 

Thursday, — Two boatmen, for five shillings, took 
me upon the lakes, and showed the various curiosities. 
We saw Goat Island, where were two cottages, one 
of great beauty, but found no inmates — the island 
called O'Donohoe's Library, having stones so arranged 
about the edge that they have the appearance of books 
lying slantingly upon each other — a circular pond, 
now called Father Mathew's Cofiee Basin, once the 
resort of punch-drinkers, and called the "Devil's 
Punch Bowr — and another pond, which was the favorite 
resort of Sir Walter Scott, and called by him the 
" Meeting of the Waters." This pond is surrounded 
by beautiful shrubbery, into which the lake empties 
itself by four difierent ways, a nook peculiarly fitted 
for the play of an imagination like his. The Eagle's 
Nest came next, a lofty mountain much like the one 
in Grlengarifi*, but no frightful inhabitants there. 
Here the proud eagle uncontrolled soars fearless of 
the marksman's arrow, as lord of both sky and moun- 
tain; here, too, are cradled the young eaglets till 
fitted for flight ; and the boatman showed me a ca- 
vity in the rock where a nest has yearly been 
made ; the nest was once robbed, and two of the young 
eagles are now kept for pets in Killamey. An adven- 
turous man, with a pistol and hook in his hands, was 
fastened by a rope round his body and legs, the rope 

CHAP, xviii.] CO. OF KERRY. 2&3 

was carried to the top of the rock and there made 
secure ; when he had reached the nest, he grappled 
the hook, secured the young, fired his pistol and was 
let down. 

"We sailed back from the foot of the mountain, and 
viewed the shores from the middle lake. Here the 
water has worn the rocks till it has formed beautiful 
caverns, called wine cellars. In some places pillars 
are left, which look as if hewn by a chisel. 

The famous Innisfallen was not the least of the 
beauties of these lakes, sung by poets and admired by 
all — a green spot where stands a castle, or rather the 
remains of one, but no cottage. The island was 
beautifully green, and sheep were feeding upon it. 
The Bed of Honor, about which so many ludicrous 
stories are told, is in quite a perilous place for a retreat 
of safety, a point of the rock juts into the lake, in the 
side of which is a little shelf, where it is said two 
runaway lovers hid from the wrath of a father and 
affianced husband who followed. The fugitives went 
out to meet them, and the lover left the matter to the 
honor of the betrothed one, who, notwithstanding the 
partiality which the maiden had evinced for another, 
bore her away, and made her his unwilling bride. 
The story answers well for the purses of the guides, 
who are sure to add every variety that can give zest 
to the tale. 

But Innisfallen has beauties which can scarcely be 
exaggerated, and if art has any part in rendering 
landscape lovely, a cottage here would be at least a 
pleasant variety. The lady who owns it has proceed- 
ed so far towards a commencement as to send a huge 
pile of lime to the spot, and a few stones, but the 
selfish thought that she had no children to enjoy it, 
and that she would not build it for the benefit of 
strangers, prevailed, and the rubbish remains as a 
memento of the lady's love for posterity. 

On our return we had a view of the ivy-covered 
castle on Ross Island. The side fronting the lake was 
completely overrun with ivy, except a few little white 

294 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xvra. 

spots, which at a distance had the appearance of patches 
put on. The place, the plan, and finish of this castle, 
are a worthy comment on the taste of the ancients, and 
the former prosperity of Ireland. The boatmen obeyed 
to the letter the command given when setting out, not 
to give one fairy tale. Consequently my eyes were 
not diverted, nor my imagination stretched, to make 
out beauties and wonders which were not exactly be- 
fore me. The realities of KDlamey-lakes are enough 
without any varnishing. As a whole, a fairy land in 
reality, I had read much of it ; but when 1 saw it, I 
determined to mock no reader with a description, as I 
had been, but invite all who may choose to have a 
spare shilling, to give it to a common-sense boatman 
on the lakes of Killarney 

Friday early, I heard the tolling of a bell, and was 
told it was the convent bell, tolling the funeral of a 
nun, the matron of the institution. I passed by the 
crowded gate, and though the keeper was preventing 
the entrance of the crowd, finding that I was an Ame- 
rican stranger, the* porter said, " Welcome, welcome 
in," and opened the gate. This was a favourable mo- 
ment ; the crowd, without preface or apology, rushed 
in, and pressed me by force into the convent yard. 
The procession was conducted by priests in white 
robes, followed by twelve girls in white ; then the 
nuns in white robes, with black veils, and all bearing 
lighted candles ; the priests reading prayers in Latin, 
intelligible to all but the listeners. They entered the 
high walled enclosure where the nuns are interred, 
and chanted a plaintive funeral song while the corpse 
was being buried. 

A gentleman approached, asking, " Have you seen 
the interment ?" adding, " had I seen you before, you 
should have been admitted, as you are a stranger." 

I next walked through the gate leading to Lord 
Kenmare's domain, a happy appendage to the lakes, 
ornamented with walks and seats, and two rustic 
thatched cottages, made of small round sticks of wood 
with the bark on, and put together like patch-work, in 

CHAP, xvni.] CO. OF KERRY. 295 

diamonds, wheels, and stars ; the floors are laid in 
small pebbles, in wheels, and the whole together is in 
perfect taste. The sun was shining upon the sloping 
green lawn, and the lakes below were sparkling in its 
light. I was jnst seated in one of the cottages, ga- 
thering around me the dancing fairies of the imagina- 
tion, when a wail for the dead fell on my ear. Surely 
this morning thus far was devoted to the ghosts of the 
departed. I hastened from the enchanted seat, and 
found that the procession was moving to the burying- 
place upon the hill, the oldest in all Eillarney. The 
undying propensity of all ages to look, and if possible 
to accompany a funeral procession, led me on, and I 
waded through, and climbed over walls, to follow the 
dead, but did not succeed in time, the death-cry having 
ceased before I could reach them. 

A youth tending cattle upon the hill showed me into 
the burying-ground and old church, said to be 1,150 
years old. An old tower, and the Bishop's chair, 
being no more than the remains of an old tower, in 
shape in its ruins like a large chair, stand at a distance. 
But the sight of sights is the pile of dry bones in one 
corner of the church-yard, and scattered all through 
it, as well as around it. Skulls with open jaws and 
teeth, and all the bones of the body, are here in thick 
profusion under the open sky. It is said that the 
burying-ground is as old as the church, and the pea- 
santry of Ireland retain a strong propensity to bury 
their dead with their ancestors, consequently this is 
the spot where Killamey dead must lie, though the 
bones of kings and nobles are rooted out, and scattered 
to bleach in the winds and sun of heaven, to make 
room for them. While standing with the mountain 
herder, a man, whose cabin " joined hard" to the bury- 
ing-ground, accosted us. I asked if it was not un- 
pleasant to live near so many dead bodies and dried 
bones. " Not at all ; its the livin', ma*am, that do the 
hurt," adding a story which requires both Irish clever- 
ness and Irish brogue to be well understood. 

A young mpuntain lad had been to a fair, and took 

296 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xvm. 

too mach whiskey ; on his return up the mountain, 
his path lay across this burying-ground. As he passed 
a tomb-stone, a couple of goats were pushing with 
their horns, and " rattling them like sticks." The ter- 
rified fellow ran home as fast as his staggering would 
enable him, and fell shaking upon the floor, and it was 
not for hours that he could understandingly tell the 
astonished family what had caused the fright. At last 
he informed them, " that all the ghosts that had been 
buried for the last forty years had come out of their 
graves, and were killin' each other, for he saw them 
flghtin' and heard the bones rattle, and they were all 
in their windin' sheets about the ground." " For a 
twelve month," said the narrator, <♦ Paddy could hear 
nothing else when he went to town, but the * rattlin' 
of dead bones killin' each other.* " 

This burial place, like most others in Ireland, is 
situated in a pleasant spot, and it would seem that the 
ancients had a regard for good air, extensive view, and 
a noble church for the comfort of their dead. The 
country here slopes down to the lakes. The Kerry 
mountains rise in the most varied shapes, and topped 
with snow, glistening in the sun ; while many a green 
field with cattle and sheep spreads out at their feet, 
making together so picturesque a view, that I sat down 
upon a wall, with my cabin man and mountain lad at 
my feet, for two hours ; and they in turn did what 
they could to amuse and instruct me. 

On my way down the mountain, seeing a most mi- 
serable cabin, ventured through the door, and found it 
was the home of the mountain boy I had left. He 
certainly made a happy change when he left the dirty, 
smoky hovel, where men, women, pigs and cattle, 
geese, and turkies, all had one common lodgment, if 
not one common bed. The old man, the boy's father, 
said " he had lived there sixty years, was now in a 
decline and ould, and hoped, through attention to the 
duties of the church, to get to heaven at last." He 
was pointed to the " Lamb of God, who takes away 
the sin of the world ;" but he could not understand 

CHAP, xvm.] CO. OF KERRY. 297 

how he could be saved out of his church, nor how he 
could be lost if he obeyed its mandates. Now for civi- 
lity and hospitality. The old man said " an' yer feet 
are destroyed with the mud, and wouldn't ye have a 
pair of slippers, and rest yer feet, and stop and take 
a fresh egg ?" Have a pair of slippers ! In a hovel 
like this ! All the curiosities of the churchyard now 
vanished. The egg I did not dispute, for a goose was 
quietly seated on a nest in the corner, and a hen had 
just left hers under the cupboard, and was cackling 
about the room. The mother put a basket of potatoes 
into a tub, and washed them with her feet, and sus- 
pended them over the fire to boil for supper. Every 
thing was in train for a repast, but making my exit as 
civilly as I could, after heartily thanking them, (for 
their hospitality could not be disputed) my lodgings 
were reached, with an escort which had increased from 
cabin to cabin, and from passengers on the way ; some 
asking for books, some enquiring about America, and 
one among the better learned asked, " what I thought 
of the * Blessed Virgin ?' " " This will cut the gar- 
ment," retorted a woman. " As ye think of the mo- 
ther, so ye'd love the Son, and if yer tracts say nothin' 
of her, we would not read 'em." I found in this town 
more suspicion that my books were dangerous, than in 
any other. The just reason was, that a well meaning 
person, with more zeal than knowledge, had scattered 
through it tracts, treating entirely on controversial 
points between Romanism and Protestantism ; which so 
aroused the bishop, that he had issued an edict that 
no book, or tract, should be received from a Protestant, 
unless its contents were first ascertained to be of the 
genuine kind. Happily for me, mine were unexcep- 
tionable, and when they found that neither my books 
nor myself were designed to proselyte them to a party, 
but lead them to Christ, they rejoiced exceedingly, 
and received the books with great cordiality during 
my whole stay in the place. 

Saturday. — Hesitated how to pass the day; my 
dread of going out upon the street was greater in Kil- 


CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xviu. 

lamey than in any other town ; though it is a place 
where strangers constantly resort, it would seem that I 
was a more interesting spectacle than any whatever. My 
coat was made of good cloth and in the newest fashion, 
my bonnet was the same, but my muff was black and 
large, and thinking that the coat might be a little 
novel to the peasantry, and the muff a fright, I re- 
solved ^at morning to avoid all occasion of offence. 
The post-office was the place of destination, and put- 
ting on a cloak, which the peasantry wear both in 
winter and summer, and leaving the muff behind, I 
went out quite early, hoping to escape unmolested. 
Not so ; my fate was fixed. Men, boys, women, and 
girls, were on the spot, who all regulated their move- 
ments in unison with mine. If I hastened my 
pace, they did the same ; if I walked slowly, they 
did so too ; and if I stopped, this was still more fa- 
vourable for the gaping. It was market-day, and a 
fresh recruit was on the field; some dropped their 
sacks and hurried on, lest I might be too quick for 
them ; others, with baskets and buckets on their heads, 
managed so adroitly as to draw up to the spot in good 
time, near where they supposed I was going. Reach- 
ing the post-office, I paused, and seriously asked a 
countryman, who was leisurely surveying me from 
head to foot, »* How do you like my looks ? Don't you 
think me a queer looking woman ?" 

" By dad, ye're a dacent lookin' body,** said he. 

I dropped in my letter, and with a hurried step 
walked away, when a huckster woman bawled out, 
" She's a beautiful wawlker, God bless her." 

What could I do, what should I do, with this indis- 
cribable annoyance of being followed through the town, 
over hedges, and even into burying-grounds, to be 
gaped at? The misery was enhanced by knowing 
that this proceeded from no ill motive whatever, for 
they would have protected me at the risk of their own 
safety, and I hated myself that my sensibilities were 
such, that I could not be more patient under the una- 
voidable ordeal. 

CHAP, xvin.] CO. OF KERRY. 299 

We will now, reader, escape the market-women and 
visit Lord Kenmare's deer park. At the gate a more 
than ordinary looking woman met me, and in a plea- 
sant manner invited me into her cottage. It was 
cleanly, and she was tidily dressed, and had no occa- 
sion to say she had been »* better rair'd." She was re- 
ligious, and when she learned my object to Ireland, in 
admiration she exclaimed, " Blessed Jesus, make me 
thankful, and bless and protect her ! The people in 
Kerry, ma'am, are very dark ; some of them are mar- 
ried, and can't say the Lord's prayer. I bless God 
that he sent you to Ireland. And what can I do for 
you ? I have nothing to give a stranger, a lady like you. 
I am sitting desolate and alone in my cabin. My hus- 
band is dead, my children are gone, and I keep this 
little cottage at the gate for my bit of bread." 

I read a tract to her called the " Worth of a Dollar," 
and presented it to her. She clasped it, raising her 
hands and eyes, saying, " Is this a present for me ? I 
was going to ask where one could be bought, and now 
you have given it to me. I have a friend who loves 
the world too much, and this is the book Til give him 
to read. I've often told him he'd lose his soul if he 
didn't let go the world." She was not ignorant of .the 
Word of God, and repeated some Scripture, though she 
had no Bible. I presented her with the Douay gos- 
pels, and read some portions to her, when with em- 
phasis she exclaimed, " It is good, but where is the 
* Blessed Virgin ?' Didn't she bring forth the blessed 
Saviour, and didn't she wrap him in swaddling clothes 
in a manger, and didn't the breath of oxen warm his 
blessed body ?" The expression was new, simple^ and 

She showed me the best walk through the park to 
find the glen behind it, and heaped renewed blessings 
on my head, for leaving her the books. Walking a 
little distance, some labouring men saw me, and in- 
forming them I was an American, and asking the way 
to the glen, one dropped his spade, and^ in spite of re- 

300 CO. OF KERRY. [chap, xviii. 

monstrance, would show me to the gate, lest I should 
" go astray." The law of kindness is most indelibly 
written on these poor peasants' hearts. If they meet 
a stranger, and need require, they will give to the 
utmost, they will do to the utmost, and not let him 
know they have made any sacrifice. 

Glens had been my peculiarly pleasant walks in 
Ireland, but here I was in a way to get too much. I 
followed a clear stream for a mile or more, and saw no 
outlet. Darkness was gathering, and my prospects 
were not the brightest; at length a bridge led me 
across the stream, through the glen, to a deep ditch, 
on the top of which was a fence made of poles. Down 
the ascent of the ditch on the other side was a crazy 
ladder made of sticks, and to reach this I must climb 
and cross the fence. The risk looked dubious, and I 
walked away, ascended the hill, but could find no 
outlet ; returned, and resolved to make the eifort, much 
fearing the second part to the fall made a few days 
before. Throwing my muff and parasol before me, I 
made the leap, and happily succeeded. A long walk 
was before me, and — 

** Wide o'er the scene her tints grey evening flings," 


but one happy reflection was, that I should ^cape the 
staring in town by the darkness. And so it proved. 

Sabbath morning early, taking my Bible and a few 
tracts, visited Ross Island. £ntered a cottage in a wild 
part of it, gave the son and daughter each a small 
book, when the mother in kindness asked me to walk 
in and see a child who was sick with the small-pox. I 
assured her I had no desire to become acquainted with 
the small-pox in this way. " The disease is in Killar- 
ney entirely." Leaving the door, I seated myself on a 
rustic seat by the side of the lake, and enjoyed a Sab- 
bath hour, with the Word of God and the book of 
nature before me, opened to as bright a page as the 
volume could produce. For Killarney is not evanes- 
cent in her friendship, pleasant and cordial to-day, as 

CHAP, xviii.] CO. OF KERRY. 301 

is often said of the nation, and to-morrow unkind 
and forbidding. These lakes and this scenery never 
can tire ; a spot where " Nature wears her sweetest 

But I must leave this temple of God, this open air 
adoration, and take my reader to a little church, to 
hear a short discourse, from " Enter in at the strait 
gate." The little company that attended was not the 
best comment on the success of gospel truth, though 
the worshippers appeared devout. 

At six o'clock, taking as usual tracts and books, I 
went to the gate-house of Lord Kenmare. Here was 
a family of children, who had been well educated for 
the peasantry, and giving a book to one, it was read 
audibly, and received that hearty response that every 
subject treating on benevolence ever does among the 
poor of Ireland. Charity is the alpha and omega, 
the sum total of all that makes the man or woman, 
with these people. Without it your religion, whether 
Roman or Protestant, is but as sounding brass or a 
tinkling cymbal. And a distinguishing feature which 
cannot be too much admired, is, that when they give, 
they give unsparingly from their pittance, and when 
they receive, they do it with as much thankfulness, 
when the smallest trifle is offered, as when the dona- 
tion is quite bountiful. While the child was reading 
the story the potatoes were preparing, the milk and 
eggs put on, and I was invited to '< the egg and sup of 
milk, ma'am, but you couldn't take the potato." I had 
taken supper, but never declined a potato, and always 
took it in my hand, which to them was as sure a test 
of good-will and sincerity on my part, as are the grip 
and well-known pass-word to the initiated brother 

As I went out, four little girls were at the gate, 
where they had been waiting an hour to ask for books. 
" It's the Word of God I want," said one, ^•'▼hich you 
promised me last Friday, I went to your place at 
six, as you told me, and they sent me to the gate, and 

302 CO. OF KERRY. [chap, xviir. 

I havS been waiting an hour, ma'am. And have you 
got the Word of God for me now ? its that I want." 

" I am not certain but you will destroy it if I give 
you one." 

" Destroy the Word of God ! Who would dare do 

A woman now interfered, " And what's this you're 
saying ? If you touch one of her books, I'll tell the 
bishop." The bishop's house was at our left, but a few 
yards distant. " He has told us we must not touch 
a Protestant book." " I don't care if you do tell the 
bishop. If I can get the Word of God, I'll read it" 
This was plain English, and then turning to me, " I 
know, lady, you'll give it to me. You said you 
would.'* " But," continued the woman, " they are the 
same books that the Protestant man had, to put down 
the church, and speak against our religion." Turning 
to the woman, and telling her I had no books but what 
the bishop would approve, and that they were Irish 
and Douay Testaments, &c. she begged pardon, and 
walked on, the little girl exulting, said, "There, I 
knew the lady was right." 

When we reached the lodging-house, the Testa- 
ments and books were presented; but by no urging 
would the girl be persuaded to take any books but the 
Scriptures, though she was told they contained beauti - 
ful stories, and were handsomely covered. "Its the 
Word of God I want, and nothing else," was the only 
answer, though the three others were better pleased 
with a colored tract than with any other book. 

The next day was devoted by the citizens of Kil- 
lamey to St. Patrick. At twelve the temperance 
band awakened me, by playing very sweetly the air of 
St. Patrick's Day, reminding me of New York, when 
the Irish emigrants there celebrate the day, rekindle 
old associations of their beloved Emerald Isle, sing the 
songs of their native land, and live over again the bye- 
gone days of the country so dear to them. Early the 
chapel bells called to mass, and from every mountain 


and glen the people poured in, with the green sham- 
rock in their hats, the children with some kind of 
ribbon upon the left arm, which they called the 
" crass." Sabbath was called Palm Sunday, when a 
sprig of palm was carried to chapel to be blessed, and 
worn home in the hat ; this was changed by some on 
Monday for the shamrock. The multitude huddled to 
mass three times a day, and passed the afternoon and 
evening looking upon each other, but not in quar- 
relling or drinking. To avoid the staring without, 
and the thronged house within, I again visited the 
park, and under a shady oak should have enjoyed 
a sweet sleep, with my muff for a pillow, had not the 
gate- woman found and invited me in. Another treat 
of reading she enjoyed, but declined taking any books, 
lest the bishop should punish her. Reading to these 
people what they can understand, and what they should 
practise, is the best mode of access, and the surest way 
to do good. Having few or no books of their own, 
and many not being able to read at all, a story of 
practical piety, a clear and pungent explanation of the 
most essential doctrines connected with the life and 
atonement of Christ, are listened to with the deepest 
interest. And not unfrequently will the sower find, if 
he watch the growth, that the seed has sprung up, 
promising a fruitful harvest. 


Fellow Travellers on the Kerry Mountains— Bay of Ross by 
Moonlight — " Fine Stage-house ** — ^Loss of Appetite — ^Feet- 
bathing Extraordinary — ^Kerry Trick — Glorious Morning on 
the Mountains, in spite of Hunger and Weariness — Cabin 
Courtesy — ^Woman a Beast of Burden — ^Lodging-house at 
Cahirciveen — A Saucepan an Unattainable Luxury — Reli- 
gion and Filth — Guests to the Fair— Curly-headed Biddy — 
Battle of the Sticks — Sabbath Services — Protestant Whis- 
key-selling— Lnproved Quarters. 

Tuesda^y March ISth. — I concluded to go west, and 
visit Cahirciveen^ a distance of thirty miles ; to walk 

304 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xix. 

the first ten, and wait for the car till next morning at 
the town of Killorglin. I soon had company, and a 
call for books from every peasant who passed, hav- 
ing a basket on my arm, and some tracts upon the 
outside. "An' maybe you've somethin' that's nice," 
said one; giving him a tract, he read with much 
attention, "an' sure you don't give these? There's 
not many the like of ye. Ye must be from England." 
" From America," I said. " From America ! and 
what brought ye here among the poor ?" When the 
object was explained, " then ye must be wawkin' for 
the good of your soul." This I often found the most 
difficult part of the story to be understood. If penance 
were not the object, what could induce me to put 
so much trouble on myself? 

A kind parting left me with a countryman, who was 
going to the same town with a load of flour, and as 
heavily as his cart was burdened, he insisted on my 
taking a seat. " The wawkin' 'ill be heavy on ye." I 
declined, but put my basket on his cart, and he carried 
it till we reached the miserable dirty town of Killor- 
glin. This shrewd Kerry man displayed much of that 
common-sense, observation, and inquisitiveness, so 
peculiar in the peasantry of all Ireland, but especially 
in the Kerryites. We reached the filthy town, and 
finding no better stopping-place than a public -house, 
where a woman was dealing out the " good creature," 
and so forbidding were her looks and every thing in 
keeping, that, though rain began to fall, I resolved to 
go on eight miles further, where the teamster was 
going that night, rather than wait for the car next 
morning. I was now getting into the heart and 
essence of Kerry, the land of O'Connell, the country 
noted for the inquisitive disposition and cunning of 
the peasantry. And though it would be absurd to 
suppose that a county line could designate the charac- 
ter and habits of a people, yet throughout all Ireland 
there is one grand feature telling you who is Irish, and 
definite minor ones telling the stranger there are dif- 
ferent children belonging to this common stock, who 


speak different languages, and wear different costumes. 
The Kerryites are said to have a mixture of the 
Spanish, who many years ago found their way among 
these mountains, and the Kerry women have black or 
dark hair, and in general are quite handsome. 

I had not walked far before I " cast longing linger- 
ing looks behind." My feet were blistered, the road 
stony, and the rain threatening. Often I sat down 
upon a stone by the way side, deling quite unable to 
proceed. I could get nothing to*eat, and my break- 
fast had been a light one, and my condition was not 
the most desirable. 

Night came on. My companion had met with a fel- 
low-traveller of the same craft, taking a load of flour 
to the town, and each man lit his pipe, and jabbered in 
Irish to my full content ; having me sometimes in 
sight, and sometimes out of sight, sometimes far in the 
rear, sometimes in speaking distance, when my com- 
panion would call, <* and sure ye aint wairy ; and 
when we've crassed the stones a bit, ye'll have a lift on 
the cart," or, " it's a fine stage-house ye'U see as there 
is in all the three kingdoms." The name of a stage- 
house, to an American ear, is associated with all that 
is comfort ; and hearing it was an Englishman that 
kept it, I was buoyed up with the hope that I should 
meet with a clean cheerful hearth, good bread, and 
clean lodging, for never did a weary traveller deserve 
them more. 

The clouds had dispersed, and the young moon was 
looking from as pure a sky as was ever spread out over 
this misty isle of the sea. The Bay of Ross, with all 
its witchery, arose in view. A little mountain girl 
had met me from a foot-path that led among the rocks, 
and as we suddenly made a turn, which opened the 
bay unexpectedly, »*and ye'll have as fine a bay, 
ma'am, in yer eye as in all the kingdom," fell on my 
ear. I stopped suddenly, and on either hand 

*• Bold and craggy rose each mountain form, 

To brave the heavens, the lightning, and the storm." 

306 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xix. 

The girl seeing my admiration, triumphantly added, 
" and did ye see the like in all your travels, ma'am ? I 
must leave ye, lady, for my way lies up the mountain 
a bit, and yell not be lonely, for the moon looks bright, 
and the road is now aisy to the fut. Good night, and 
God speed ye on yer journey, and return ye safe to 
yer own country." 

Through all this I had stood on the margin of that 
bay, looking up the heathy crags, then upon the placid 
sea, that was here and there reflecting the rays of the 
moon, then deep shaded by some cliff that looked down 
upon it, sheltering some fisherman's mud-wall hut at 
its foot. I uttered not a word, till the " good night " 
of the Kerry- girl awaked me from the reverie. Her 
light foot stole quickly away, and I was standing alone, 
for my carmen were jabbering far out of sight. Tak- 
ing my cruel boots from my blistered feet, I hurried 
on, till the voice of one of my fellow-travellers bawled 
out, " and sure ye ain't a gazin' at these black moun- 
tains, its the pratee and the night's sleep I am thinkin' 
on." Again I sat down upon a stone, put on my boots, 
and, determining to make " virtue of necessity," en- 
deavoured, as I followed the cart, to forget my pains 
by singing. This, to my wonder, drew upon the hill 
sides and path, groups of all ages, where I had scarcely 
noticed a cabin, giving me a moonlight view of 
mountaineers and fishermen, who followed me with 
good wishes, and comforted my spirits by telling me of 
the " short bit " that was " under my fut," and the 
"dacent people" I should find at the lodging. My 
Kerry guide had intentionally passed the stage-house, 
and stopping to rest his horse at the top of a hill, 
pointed around, saying, " at your left a short bit and 
ye'U see the lodgin'." 

Here I pause, for we were in view of this " dacent 
lodgin'," and a little time is requisite to gird ourselves 
for the coming conflict. 

Supposing I was approaching the " tidy stage- 
house," my steps were accelerated, and looking on my 
left saw a thatched house of considerable dimensions, 


and a pile of well packed manure at the door. Here 
stood two goats and a ram, each with a stout pair 
of horns, and the ram was using his with much dex- 
terity against a spirited girl, who was pulling and 
beating the " bold blackguard/* to get him aside, that 
the "lady might come in." I stood at a respectful 
distance till the battle was decided in favor of the girl 
and myself, and looking in, saw a cow fastened at the 
entrance, standing upon straw and filth, and her young 
calf to the right, near the fire. The smoke was mak- 
ing its way as well as it could through the door, eight 
beings in the shape of men were lolling upon a settee 
and benches, with one stretched at full length upon a 
table, his head hanging off at one end, and the mother, 
three daughters, the two teamsters, and myself, with 
geese, and hens at roost, made up the group in the 
room and about the fireside of this "stage-house." 
The whole together was so complete an overthrow of 
all my expectations of an Englishman's lodgings, that 
what with my miserable feet, empty stomach, and 
prospects for the night, I was quite indignant, and 
pettishly demanded of the consequential landlord why 
he lived with his cattle in the house, when I sawhe 
had a barn near. 

" The cow has a new calf, ma'am, and she is warmer 
in the house " 

My senior comrade now ordered a pot of potatoes, 
which were soon in preparation, carried to an adjoining 
room, and a splinter of dry bog-wood put into a crack 
over the table as a torch to guide the way to the 
mouth. I was invited to walk in, but though I had 
not taken any food but a piece of bread early in the 
morning at Killarney, and had walked twenty-five 
miles over the roughest path I had ever trod in 
Ireland upon the strength of that, yet the sight within 
the walls of that cabin hushed the clamor of my 
stomach, and I left my fellow travellers to sup alone. 
The master of the house entertained me with a his- 
torical account of Dublin, which he once visited, 
assuring me it was twenty miles across, containing 

308 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xix. 

sixteen hundred public houses of entertainment, and 
the laws very strict. No persons meeting on the walks 
were allowed to shake hands ; if they did so, they were 
immediately put in prison ; he had seen it done 
repeatedly. This bundle of lies was well received by 
the auditors, as this man was quite an oracle of the 
mountains ; and modestly telling him that his state- 
ments were all untrue, we turned to another subject. 

My feet needing bathing, the pot which had been 
used for the boiling of the potatoes was presented, and. 
in presence of the ten male eye-witnesses gathered about, 
the girl who fought the battle with the ram washed 
my feet in spite of all remonstrance, the father and 
mother urging my consent as being a duty to a " wairy 
stranger." While this was in progress, the father 
whispered a second daughter to " put on the feather 
bed for the lady," and in a half hour my bed-room was 
in readiness, with another splinter of bog-wood put 
into a crack to light me on the way thither. This 
bed-room contained three beds for father and mother, 
three daughters, and myself. I was allowed to retire 
first, the same attendant standing by in real primitive 
fashion, to help me to undress. The washing of the 
feet of strangers and guests is, in these mountains and 
glens of Ireland, a literal and beautiful illustration of 
our Saviour's example, " So ought ye to wash one 
another's feet." They will not allow you to perform 
this office yourself, without an absolute refusal ; and 
then, with apparent disappointment, they stand aloof, 
as if deprived of a most desired favor. The custom of 
an attendant to help the stranger undress, is mentioned 
by Henderson in his visit to Iceland, where the mother 
or eldest daughter claims the honor ; and though the 
unaccustomed stranger may at first feel it an intrusion, 
yet the fastidiousness is soon relieved by the simple 
unstudied manner in which it is done. 

In half an hour all were snoring around me, and 
soon my troubles found a quietus, which lasted till 
five, when my Kerryite stood at the bed-side with a 
bog-wood torch. '* And may be ye wouldn't like to go 


on so airly ?" Saying " Yes.'* ** An' in the name of 
God we'll go on." I hurried up, and lo ! he was gone, 
and I have not seen him since ! This I was told was 
genuine Kerry roguery, done for the sole purpose of 
enjoying to himself the gratification of my surprise 
and hustling to hurry on, and join his company. 

I paid a shilling for this rare treat, and hurried to 
catch the first gleamings of light upon these towering 
heath-topped mountains. The sea again broke upon 
my view, the road was made upon a mountain so 
steep, that a stone wall was necessary to keep the 
traveller safe, and the look down into the sea in many 
places was truly terrific. A solitary star was here 
and there still twinkling in the west, a mountain-top 
behind me was white with snow, and as the morning 
advanced, the rays of the sun shot athwart it, and 
rested upon the smooth surface of the sea, leaving a 
heavy shadow from the mountain beneath, giving a 
picture of light and shade which the painter could 
alone delineate. The varied color of the purple, grey, 
and brown of the mountain, the wildness, the song of 
the morning bird, the " Alps on Alps " rising to vi^w, 
the cascades of the most sparkling crystal gurgling 
from their sides, transported me beyond loneliness, 
hunger, or pain of blistered feet, and at short intervals 
I was fixed to the spot as when looking on the moon- 
light view the preceding night. I occasionally mixed 
my rude voice with the song of the bird and music of 
the mountain waterfall, and with a heart full of thanks- 
giving, did I bless the God of love, that he had made 
this isle of the sea. Persecuted and hated as it is, it 
has riches of scenery, riches of minerals, and riches of 
mind, which all others might covet. 

For hours the scenery, though continually varying, 
lost none of its interest, and I had walked five miles of 
Irish measure of such painful enjoyment, before the 
clamors of hunger told me that I had taken no bread 
since seven on the preceding morning, and here no 
bread could be found. Not a cabin had greeted my 
eye, save a little clump of mud wall or rough stone 

310 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xix. 

huts, where bread would have been as strange a guest 
as a plum pudding in the kraal of a Hottentot. Ex- 
citement, which had thus far been a kind vehicle, now 
gave way, and weariness, pain, and hunger, demanded 
their rights. Seeing a little girl dip her bucket in a 
clear mountain stream, I saluted her. ** And je look 
wairy, lady, wouldn't ye walk in and rest ye a little by 
the fire ?" Gladly I followed into the lowly, but clean 
cabin, and was offered the only seat in the room, and 
that was made of braided straw in the shape of a 
cushion. They tried in every possible way to comfort 
me, offering to bathe my feet. Telling them a piece 
of bread was what I wanted to buy, the girl, the only 
one that could speak English in the family, told me I 
could not get any for some miles. ** But wouldn't ye 
stop and have a potato ? they will boil in a little bit." 
I cheerfully consented, and that cabin will ever be 
associated with the deepest and kindliest recollections. 
Two girls, a son of twenty, and the father and mother, 
made up this family. While the potatoes were boiling 
I read the Testament, the girl interpreting to the 
mpther, who in tears of gratitude was expressing her 
admiration both at the reading, and at the goodness of 
God, who had suffered a saint going on pilgrimage, as 
she thought, to enter her humble cabin. " She's 
crying, ma'am, because she can't do as much for her 
soul as you." Here, as in many parts of the country, 
it was difficult to make them believe that I was not 
some holy St. Bridget going on penance. 

The old man was in bed, had been a cripple for 
years with the rheumatism; he had listened to the 
reading, for he would occasionally clasp his hands, 
and respond in Irish. He crawled out, and drew on 
his frightful rags, knelt down and said his prayers, 
and by a smile, nod of the head, and hearty grasp of 
the hand, gave me a kindly welcome to his cabin. 
The potatoes were boiled, and poured into a basket ; a 
board was then put upon the top of the pot for a table, 
and the potatoes poured upon it, and the family drew 
around, giving me a commodious place. We had com- 


fortably adjusted ourselves, when the delighted old 
man took an egg from a hen who was sitting near, and, 
reaching it to me, made signs that I must have it boiled. 
His countenance changed into regret when I declined, 
and I was sorry that my appetite should then refuse so 
cheerfully an offered boon. But toasting some potatoes 
on the coals, and eating them without any condiment, for 
they had not even salt, I made a good and palatable 
breakfast. I gave some books to the children who 
came in, and offered the woman a little money for her 
hospitality ; she thrust it back, giving a frown of half 
anger, and half grief, and the daughter said, << She 
gave ye the potatoes in the name of God, and d'ye 
think we'd take money for it ?" I put it in the old 
man's hand, who told the daughter, " I will take it for 
God's sake, but not for the potato." Here I found 
another proof of the custom among all the peasantry, 
to refuse money for hospitality shown to a stranger ; 
and I gave books, which were never refused, when 
presented as tokens of good will. 

I arose to depart with quite different feelings than 
those at the house where I slept, for though in the 
most abject poverty, they seemed cultivated, and full 
of the " milk of human kindness." Though their feet 
had never trod upon a parlor carpet, nor the delicacies 
of a sumptuous table ever crossed their lips, and 
though I might have been the only female with both 
bonnet and shoes that ever sat down in their cabin, 
yet their manners savored more of genuine politeness 
than did many of the inmates of lordly houses in cities, 
boasting of the greatest refinement. When the poor 
old man extended his trembling hand, and the daughter, 
who was speaker for them all, pressed me to call on 
my return, I felt like parting with friends, and said, 
" I dread to go alone." The daughter interpreted to 
the mother, who said, " She won't go alone, God will 
go with her." The expression coming at such a time, 
and from such a person, was a word in season, and as 
valuable to me as though it had been dropped from 
the lips of a divine. 

312 CO. OF KERRY. [chap; nx. 

I went out with blessing upon blessing on my 
head, and a dreadful day it was. My lameness 
became so intolerable, that at short intervals I was 
obliged to sit down ; and when this did not refresh 
me, I lay down upon a bank of earth overgrown 
with grass, with my basket under my head, feeling 
that I could go no further. Again rising and reaching 
a spring of fresh water, 1 washed my face, but this 
did not ease my pained feet. Again I lay down upon 
the wall, with my parasol over my face, when I heard 
footsteps, and a female voice saying, " She's a stranger, 
and wairied out ; maybe she's sick." " Rouse her," 
said the man. I lifted my head, and saw a man and 
woman, with a little boy, standing beside me. They 
too had travelled many a long and weary mile, and 
found this little orphan boy, who had lost father and 
mother, and was travelling to a distant county where 
he was bom, hoping to find a home. ** God help all 
travellers," said the woman, " I knew you was a 
foreigner by your dress and by your tongue." They 
bestowed much pity, and left me ; again I made an 
effort ; a girl came out of a cabin. " O, ye're kilt, ye 
can't reach the town, ye'd better stop, it's a long and 
wairyroad." The next I met were two young women. 
Inquiring the distance, one said, " There is no place 
you can stop but in some poor cabin. I could give you 
a clane bed, and fresh egg, but no mate, for it's Lent, 
ma'am, and we aint allowed to ate it. Ye're lost, ye're 
destroyed, and ye can't get to town ; it's a long mile to 
it now, ma'am." 

«* She might stop till her feet should be hailed," said 
the other, " the cratur.*' 

Thanking them from my inmost heart, I thought 
it best to proceed. The car was now coming, and 
with joy I hailed it. " No room," was the answer, and 
onward was the only alternative. Reaching the bot- 
tom of a steep hill, two girls were resting by a wall, 
one with a little bundle, the other with a basket of 
turf; to me it looked sufficiently weighty to make a 
donkey stagger. " And do you, my girl, carry this on 


your back ?" " I does, ma'am ; but ye are wairy, ma'am, 
and have ye long to walk ?" The girl with the small 
bundle took up my basket, and the other adjusted the 
turf upon her head ; this was done by a rope of straw 
put into one side of the basket, and fastened across the 
forehead ; a cloth is doubled and put over the forehead 
first, that the rope need not fret it. When I looked 
at this rosy faced girl of seventeen, and saw the 
symmetry of her features, the brilliancy of her eye, 
and beauty of her teeth, what a pity and what a sin, I 
thought, to take such a finished piece of God's work- 
manship, and convert it to a beast of burden I Weary 
and crippled as I was, my real condition called for 
fresh gratitude, that I was not born in oppressed 
Ireland, where woman can never be woman if not 
born to an earthly inheritance. 

Asking the girl if she was not tired of my basket, 
" O no, ma'am, I wish it was greater, if it would 
lighten your fut." We sat down upon a bank, and 
taking the books from my basket, I presented each of 
them with portions of the scripture. Offering the 
girl who had carried them a tract, telling her it con- 
tained an interesting story, " I will take the Word of 
God," was the answer. This "Word of God" at the 
south seems to possess peculiar value in the minds of 
many of the peasantry, in spite of all training, and 
often have they not only astonished, but instructed 
me, by the appropriate applications they have made of 
this Word. 

'*Can you show me to a neat lodging in Cahirci- 
veen, where they do not sell whiskey?" The girl with the 
turf said, " show her to Mickey M*Gloukin." « I have 
been thinking of that, and she has rooms, and can give her 
a clane bed, an' is a nice approachable woman." This 
all looked inviting ; but, following the girl to the door, 
I was met by the same dark and dirty room, the 
same crowd of starers, with pipes and attendant appur- 
tenances. Flinging myself upon the first stool^ and 
asking for lodging, she answered, ** An' I wish I could 
give ye a room, but the house is all in disa^rrdher, 


314 CO. OF KERKY. [chap. xix. 

tairin' it up." " But can you give me a clean bed ?*' 
" That I can." " And a room where I can be alone, 
away from gapers who are ready to swallow me up 
wherever I go ?" "1 can give ye a room to yourself, 

So fatigued and faint was I, that the two goats 
and ram could have had no terrors, had a comfortable 
room and chair been before me, rather than striving 
to walk further. 

*• Can I get any food in town T " You can ; put on 
the kittle, Biddy, to make some tay, and take off the 
pot of potatoes." " Keep on the pot of potatoes, I will 
eat some of them, I take no tea." " Aw, and where's 
the like of ye P' I sent out and procured some cocoa, 
but nothing in the house could be found that could 
prepare the article. Every thing was named belong- 
ing to pot, kettle, iron, copper, or tin ; but the two- 
pail-full pot for potatoes, and the tay kettle for tay, 
were the only vessels. ** Run out, Biddy, and ask 
Kate for her tin cup." The cup was procured, with 
the injunction "not to put it over the fire." "And 
how am I to boil the cocoa if the cup must not go to 
the fireP' "And that you can't Never mind, she 
hasn't the sinse." 

My table waff in a room where the kind woman was 
obliged to throw down straw, to keep my feet from the 
mud while eating. This woman was very religious ; 
mass and the rosary were all her theme. It was the 
last week in Lent, or rather "Passion Week," and 
" Passion Week" it was indeed to this devoted woman. 
She talked of Holy Jesus, the blessed Virgin, inces- 
santly, when she was not scolding her servants and 
children to make them more devout. When a few 
moments could be spared, she would throw her cloak 
over her head, run to chapel, return, and drop upon 
her knees in any part of the house, bidding all to be 
quiet till her prayers were finished. Taking occasion 
once to say to her, that Christ commanded us to pray 
in secret, she looked with astonishment as though all 
was upset ; and in a half hour she was dragging her 


little girl of six into a retired place to say her prayers, 
adding, " It will do you no good if you say 'em here." 
She wept much when I read some tracts, and regretted 
deeply that she could not read the Scriptures ; " An' 
ye're the one that can read the ' Word of God.' " She 
was a strange compound of good and evil, and more to 
be pitied than derided. She seemed to hunger for what 
she could not obtain, and bad ears to hear, but who 
should teach her ? ** She has done what she could" 
in her own way, and could heaven be attained by 
jumps and snatches, and "Passion Week" continue 
during her earthly pilgrimage, this woman would cer- 
tainly be entitled to a prominent seat among the 
guests. My bed was a good one and a clean one, in 
this she said truly ; but the giving a room to myself 
was a little slip of the tongue, for it contained a bed 
for herself, husband, and two children, beside another 
in waiting the first night, but the second a goodly host 
of Kerrymen were on the spot. A few moments be- 
fore one, I was awakened by the clatter of three pairs 
of heavy shoes, and loud talking, and heard the woman 
say, " you can two of you go into the next room." " No, 
we'll all quat here," was the reply. They did " quat 
here" at the foot of my bed, and jabbered awhile in 
Irish, and then were snoring in full chorus through 
the night. 

It would be no more than rendering what is just 
and equal to say, that I was neither lonesome nor 
afraid of robbers, and I really believe that the Irish 
peasantry are as free from coveting "other men's 
gold, or silver, or apparel " as is possible for a people 
to be, wretched and poor as they are. They will ask 
for the penny with a very good grace, and load you 
with blessings when you bestow it, but they neither 
upbraid when refused, nor seem envious at the purse 
or equipage of any neighbour, however heavy or 
splendid they may be. " We must be content with 
what the Almighty God sends us," or, "must not 
fly in the face of God Almighty," seems not only 

p 2 

316 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xix. 

a curreDt phraseology in their mouth, but a fixed piin* 
ciple of the heart. 

On Saturday a fair was to be held ; my feet had 
improved a little, and I should have left, but rain came 
on, and I staid in doors. Friday night the gathering 
from the country commenced, and seven new lodgers 
required some little change, and I was removed into 
the gang -way at the head of the stairs, where all must 
pass on the way to bed. When each had gone to his 
lair, I went to mine, and when each had risen and clat- 
tered through, I did the same, and there was no nook in 
which I could ensconce myself but the kitchen. Here 
had gathered the whole fraternity, beside many of the 
sisterhood from without, some sitting on stools, some 
on chairs, others standing in waiting posture, some 
squatting near me, and looking me sharply in the face. 
The question, impious as it was, did certainly arise, 
whether these creatures had immortal souls, and could 
be made society for angels ? Yes, through the blood 
of the Lamb they could, but if nothing unclean can 
enter heaven, they must not yet be quite ready. 

They were waiting for breakfast, and as all could 
not afford " bread and tay," the great pot of potatoes 
was in constant requisition, one <^ squad " waiting on 
their haunches for the first to be served. One of a 
little more energy than the rest was hurrying the boil- 
ing by thrusting in his cane, with which he had 
walked through the mud, and from the bottom turning 
up a prize, squeezing it, and if not fit for mastication 
putting it back. No sooner was one batch done, than 
another supplied its place over the fire until the whole 
were served. 

Curly-headed Biddy had dodged into a comer among 
the forest of legs, where she sat busily fixing her 
hair, when the mother bade her instantly go away, 
and say her prayers. Biddy heeded it not ; " go away 
and say your prayers, I tell you, and say them in pri- 
vate, too." Biddy would not leave the warm spot till 
pulled out, and in a few moments she was in the gang- 
way where I lodged, in the middle of the floor upon 


her knees, her fists together, and mumbling her prayers 
as devoutly as a mad child could do. 

It was now eleven, and when the third or fourth 
pot-fuU was poured out, the woman asked me if I would 
take a couple of potatoes. I told her they had been 
boiled in dirty water, and beside every man who had 
a cane had washed it in the pot, so I must be excused. 
And here followed a profound lecture on the filth 
of the country, telling her that if the people had 
no other sins attached to them but this, it would be 
sufficient to keep them out of heaven. " To be sure it 
will ; sloth and filth are two deadly sins. God save 
the poor Irish !" This was said with much feeling, and 
cruel as might appear so severe a rebuke on so humble 
a penitent, I enforced it with double severity by 
adding that the county of Kerry was the most hopeless 
of all places I had seen, and I could devise no better 
way of cleansing them than by hunting them out 
with dog and gun, and burning their cabins after them. 
She bore this with apparent resignation, not seeming 
to feel herself in the least implicated. 

But the fair. This like all other fairs was managed 
by buying and selling to the best advantage, for the 
Kerryites are characterised by their tact in bargain- 
ing, as well as in all other movements. The men were 
certainly better clad than any I had seen at previous 
fairs, and what met my warmest approbation was, the 
corduroys were not numerous ; substantial blue cloth 
pantaloons adorned the legs of most of the Kerryites. 
A stripling clerk of the parish priest's, entered, and 
requested to examine my books, as their care over 
the flock required that they should be particular that 
nothing should interfere with their religion. " We wish 
to know whether your Irish testaments are the true 
translation, by a bishop of our own church." Showing 
him one, he could not satisfy his mind without taking 
it away for a close examination. " We have had some 
trouble in this part of the country, by men professing 
to be teachers, and sowing errors among the people. 
And are you, ma'am, sent out by any religious sect ?" 

318 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xix. 

Answering him that I was sent hj none but by the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and, as far as I was capable, 
his doctrine and his alone was what I inculcated, and 
what I should inculcate, and these doctrines I found 
contained in that book he held in his hand— he walked 
away with the Testament to decide on its merits, pro- 
mising to see me again, but never did. 
" A fight I a fight !" was now the cry. 

" Up flew the windows all." * 

Sticks were flourishing in the air, and to appearance 
they were fighting each other instead of the persons. 
One old woman rushed into the crowd to rescue her 
Paddy, and she was dragged along regardless of age or 
sex, her cloak was torn from her, her cap set awry, 
(bonnet she had none,) and while one pulled one way, 
another seized the other side, till the sight from the 
ludicrous became painful, lest she should be << pulled 
in pieces." The priest was called, but they heeded not 
the threats of denunciations from the altar, which he 
assured them they should have on the morrow. Sacri- 
fices were more to them than altars or peace-offerings, 
and he was obliged to leave them as he found them, to 
rattle their sticks, as they did till midnight, though it 
was next day reported that no dead or wounded were 
carried from the field that night. 

In the evening a tidy well-dressed young woman 
came in, whose dialect and manner were so much like 
the Americans, that I asked if she had not been there. 
She answered that she had resided in New York ten 
years, and returned to take charge of a sickly mother. 
I had noticed throughout all Ireland when a servant 
girl returns from America that a great change is evi- 
dent in dress, manner, and language. She ceases to 
become a beast of burden, and the basket on her back, 
which she then throws off, she will never lift again. 
She confines her services more to the inside of the 

• They certainly had windows in Cahirciveen, and whole 
panes of glass, which needed only a little cleaning to give com- 
fortable light within. 


cabin, and this undergoes a manifest change for the 

Sabbath, — The rain was copious, but I made my way 
to a Protestant church, and heard a good sermon 
on the resurrection. The speaker had but few to lis- 
ten to his graphic description of the rolling away of the 
stone from the door of the sepulchre, yet some of the 
bonnetless women who were seated in the comer 
of the church reminded me of the lingering Marys, 
who watched at the cross, and followed the sacred 
body of their Saviour, and beheld where they laid him. 
When the services closed, I enquired of a gentleman if 
he could direct me to a comfortable lodging-house. 
He was the parochial school-teacher, and quite a 
favorite in the parish, and he sent me with a girl 
whose parents were Protestants and sold whiskey ; a 
house not a whit before the one I had left, either in 
cleanliness or morality. It is a stubborn fact that 
where this traffic in ardent spirits is carried on, there 
is confusion and every evil work. 

I took some potatoes and bread with them, while 
they dined on roast veal, pork, and cabbage, the good 
woman saying it was Easter Sunday, and the family 
expected something new. It was evident here that 
the reading of the Scriptures was not so much needed, 
as the right practising of their principles. When the 
teacher called to invite me with him to tea, I waited 
not for a second invitation, and when I had reached 
his house, my lady sent word that she could not lodge 
me, though she had promised to do so. The school- 
master, who seemed to hold the keys of the Protestant 
part of the parish, kept me quiet till half-past ten, by 
assuring me he could fix me in comfortable lodgings 
at almost any hour. We went to the house of a Me- 
thodist, but they were in bed ; went away, and demur- 
red awhile. " We must return," said my persevering 
gallant, "and knock them up." It was done, and the 
servant gave me a tidy bed in a tidy room, and long 
life to the good people of the house, whose kind salute 
in the morning emphatically impressed me with the 

820 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. zz. 

force of the sweet passage, '< I was a stranger and ye took 
me in." I was urged to take breakfast, and no charges 
but that of being ** faithful unto death." 


An Americanised Irishman — Armed Defence — Modem Mer- 
maids — Island of Yalentia— Employment and a good Land- 
lord — Conversable Coast Guard — A Child's Mute AppeoU- 
Povertj and Low Rents — Ridiculous old Custom — Derrynane 
— O'Connell's Library — Cold Comfort— Hospitable Port in 
the Storm — Ligfathearted Burdenbearers—Eerry Dancing 
and Kerry Eindness. 

Monday — My walk this morning was intended to be to 
the island of Yalentia, and fortunately a man called 
who was going to the place ; he had been in America, 
and, as he said, *< come back because he was a fool*" 
and was now so poor he could not return. He had 
lived in Vermont, and found them '< so hospitable, so 
nate, and so well-fed, that he could never be content 
in Ireland again, feedin* on the potato ;" neither could 
he again ever endure the '< boorish manners of the 
blackguard Lrish among the black mountains. Don't 
they kill you, followin' you about, and starin' at you ?" 
As he spoke, out poured from a smoky cabin seven 
ill-looking lads and lasses, with most of them an arm 
over the eyes, the better to take observation. But the 
poor things had but just prepared to take a sure aim, 
when my care-taking guide pounced upon them with 
his uplifted stick, threatening unsparing vengeance if 
every " dirty scrawl" didn't that instant go into the 
house. They fled like frighted sheep over a wall, and 
never looked back upon us till secured in the door of 
the cabin, where, joined by the mother, they could 
take a survey in spite of threats and sticks. " And 
you're the mother that rair'd the blackguards, and 
your smoky cap tells that you're fitted to the work." 
A couple of girls had kept behind us for some distance. 


either from modesty or fear of my guide, who flou- 
rished his stick at all who passed, if he or she had the 
audacity to venture the most side-way glance at my 
ladyship. Hearing their footsteps, he suddenly turned, 
and, " where are ye goin' ? Go a-head, and not have 
the boldness to be paradin' along behind the lady, and 
many's the long day that ye'll ever see her like again." 
The poor girls had committed no misdemeanour, and 
passed on abashed, not knowing what the choice thing 
could be that had dropped among them, requiring such 
watchful protection. 

In vain I begged him to spare the well-intentioned 
women and children, and let them gratify a curiosity 
natural to all. " It isn't me they'll humbug ; they'd 
stare the life out of ye, before ye'd reach the say.*' 
As we approached the shore, my guide pointed to a 
wretched cabin, saying, " There lives a proud mother, 
who rair'd a gal of her own sort, who was employed 
gathering the sea weed from the rocks all her days. 
She went to New York, and I called upon her there, 
and because my broadcloth wasn't so fine as the gen- 
tlemen about her, she refused to see me, and went into 
a chamber to shun me. Ah, and wasn't she sure I 
should tell of her kin that belonged to her, and the 
smoky hut where she gathered up her heels !" 

The employment of females here, though I had 
seen a little of it before, was of that degrading kind, 
that I felt like revolting from the sight. Men and 
women go out in boats, to gather sea-weed that ad- 
heres to the rocks, which is used for manure. They 
take a long pole with hooks upon the end, wade in, 
standing often to the armpits in water, and scrape the 
weed from the rocks, put it in the boats, and the men 
take it ashore ; the women remaining in the sea 
often through the day. At night they take a basket- 
full upon their backs, and bend to their wretched 
cabins, to boil their potatoes, and lie down upon the 
straw ; and in the morning awake to the same hopes, 
and go to the same employment. Woman is here 


322 CO, OF KERRY. [chap. xx. 

worse than a beast of burden, because she is often 
made to do what the beast never does.* 

We crossed in a ferry-boat to the rock-bound island 
of Valentia, where the white billow was dashing in 
playful wantonness against every bold rock, which 
like well-built battlements, guarded the coast. By the 
skill of my guide a lodging-place was provided, though 
at first refused. The woman was followed into the 
kitchen, where my qualifications were so pourtrayed, 
that they won at last upon the young bride, who con- 
sented. This neat little spot looked like a haven of 
rest, compared with the town I had left. The cottages 
were tasteful, the yards cleanly, and the little village 
was quite a manufacturing one. A slate quarry, of 
great extent upon the coast and upon the mountain, 
was in excavation ; two hundred men, and sometimes 
more, here found employment for a shilling a day, and 
this has been in operation for nearly thirty years. An 
English nobleman, much beloved by the islanders, 
owns the quarry, stays continually upon the island, 
and spends his money there ; his wife likewise is a 
pattern of goodness. His house stands upon the sea 
coast, with no wall but the surges of the ocean, which 
gives a happy relief to eye and mind while passing 
along this precipitous shore. 

The light-house is an object of great interest, being 
built upon a rock, which was once Cromwell's fort ; 
one of his cannons now stands upon the wall, fixed 
there as a memento of his heroic deeds. The family 
keeping the house are from Dublin, and quite accom- 
plished. I went out and seated myself upon a rock, 

• ** Eight months in the year we drag at this, praise God," 
said a poor woman. I looked back to the garden of Eden, 
and was it for this that a help-mate was made for man ? Is 
this the being that is destined to mould the minds of his chil- 
dren, to look well to the ways of his household, and make him 
** known as he sitteth at the gate among the elders?" Surely 
Ireland's bible teachers must have added their own theology to 
that of Henry, Clarke, and Scott, to have produced such a ver- 
sion as this for the station of woman. 


overlooking the sea, watching the poor women ga- 
thering the sea weed, and the dashing of the surges at 
my feet, till a sprinkling of rain, and the lateness of 
night, warned me of my distance from home. I thought 
of the poor exile of Erin, and wondered not that 

** In dreams he revisits the sea-beaten shore,'* 

of his own beautiful isle, where the finger of the Al- 
mighty has pencilled so many sublimities as well as 
beauties. When I reached my lodgings I was as com- 
pletely drenched as the poor women with their sea- 
weed, and had quite spoiled a valuable coat and 
velvet bonnet. • 

The house was tolerable, but the charge so high 
that I went away quite dissatisfied, and gave them a 
cold parting ; disgusted that any of the Irish should 
take advantage of Americans, who have so many of 
the destitute of that nation upon their shores. Going 
out to look at the slate-cutting machinery, the whole 
island seemed to be on the spot. One bawled out, 
" here is a man who has been a long time in your 
country." The man responded, "How do you like 
Ireland ? I hope they trate ye well. They ought, 
Americans are so kind to the Irish there. They are 
the kindest craturs in the world, ma'am, in Vermont.'* 
I found in myself that love of country and pride of 
heart, which I had endeavoured to suppress, when he 
said that he bad been in the town of my birth, and was 
treated with the greatest hospitality. The machinery 
for sawing, cutting, and polishing slate, is quite a cu- 
riosity, mostly performed by steam ; and is a work of 
great utility, much to the credit of the proprietor. The 
island itself is on the whole a well regulated and 
cleanly place. The little church on the hill tells the 
traveller, that, though the worshippers are few, yet 
the assembling of those few together is not forgotten. 
The Catholics have a chapel on the other side of the 

My American friend was all attention, conducted 
me to the boat, and left me in the protection of a Ker- 

324 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xx. 

rpte, who was to accompany me on my way to Water- 
ville. I took out a portion of the Douay Testament, 
which he read aloud as he walked, making comments 
which would have done credit to any who had heen 
taught the Scriptures, like Timothy, from a child. 
The Word of God to the peasantry of Ireland is a treat 
which they greatly enjoy, especially among the moun- 
tains. As I parted with my companion, he kindly 
offered to send his boy and donkey to carry me a few 
miles, if I would call at his cabin. I declined, for the 
purpose of seeing both the country and people, and 
giving him the Scriptures he held in his hand, I said 
adieu, not without hoping that the ten miles' walk we 
had pei'formed together, would be l^bssed by the Sa- 
viour to the good of this unsophisticated peasant. 
What an honor to be counted worthy to meet these 
poor of this world on their own level, and tell in their 
listening ears the story of Calvary, How many op- 
portunities of doing good when walking by the way, 
as well as when sitting in the house ! 

I now reached, as the sun was setting, the neat 
little well-known cottage by the sea-side, called the 
" Sportsman's Hotel." I called for lodgings ; at first 
was refused, because they were building an addition 
to the house, and had no place to put a " dacent body ;" 
but telling them that I was an American, and 
easily packed away, I was immediately made welcome 
and comfortable. In the morning, offering to pay my 
bill, the woman declined any compensation, and sent 
me on to the "kind-hearted O'Connell's,'' where she 
had seven years resided, and whose family she knew 
would treat me with the utmost civility, adding, " I 
was told never to let a stranger pass the threshold 
without placing food before him." Leaving the little 
town, the crowd was so great, that I enquired where 
could so many lodge as met me at the doors. One 
gentleman in good costume came out, invited me in, 
whispered to his wife, and she put down a couple of 
eggs, and I was urged to breakfast. Telling them I 
Lid just breakfasted, "Can I do anything for you? 


You shall be welcome to anything we have, if you 
will eat or drink." 

" I do not dispute an Irishman's sincerity when he 
offers kindness, especially if he is not an * upstart' in 
life." " I am not Irish but English ; have been in Ame- 
rica when a boy, and well remember their kindness." 

In fact the kindness of my country appeared in quite 
a flattering aspect ; and though as an individual, while 
there, I had not experienced an overcoming weight 
of the commodity, I was now in the way of getting it 
through another fortunate channel. 

Saying good morning to police men, labouring men, 
women, and children, and passing on, a resolute man 
interrupted me by "Let me enquire are you a fo- 
reigner ? I am likewise a stranger here, a coast-guard ; 
and did you ever see or hear anything like Kerry ? The 
people jabbering like blackbirds, and these wild rocks 
and mountains, the most frightful, ma'am. I'm from the 
north ; and where are you going ?" " To O'Connell's, 
sir.'' " And there you'll find the hospitality ; but be 
sure you take the new road, it's the smoothest under 
foot. And I wish I was going too ; but I'm stationed 
here, and so I can't go with you ; stationed here to 
guard the coast against smugglers, do ye understand ?*' 
There was something peculiar in this man's appear- 
ance ; he seemed to have caught the wildness of the 
scenery around him, or his occupation had given him 
that watchful restlessness that made me feel uneasy in 
his presence, and I was relieved when he said, " I must 
not walk any further with you, ma'am." 

I was just settling into a quiescent state, when from 
behind me one called out, running at full speed, " Par- 
don me, lady, you are from New York ; you never 
heard of a dress-maker by the name of Roan, a daugh- 
ter of mine who has not written me in nearly two 
years, and isn't it in Greenwich street she stops P' 

" I do not, sir, recollect having the honour of her 
acquaintance." " I'm quite sorry, ma'am, that business 
takes me out of town ; I would take my carriage, and 
carry you to Derrynane. That's the place I And ye'll 

326 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xx. 

not return to day, nor to-morrow. Keep the new 
road, ma'am, and the Almighty God go with you." 

Again was I left to myself, and the strange view 
around me ; not knowing how to choose, which most 
to admire, or which to enjoy, so divided was my 
mind between mountain wildness, roaring dashing 
waves, green sea and rocky island, wild mountaineers 
leaping from rock to rock, or climbing up the wall 
made for the protection of the passenger upon the pre- 
cipitous steep, and the amazed children who followed 
me in companies. Hearing the quick patting of feet 
behind me, I turned, and a little girl of about six 
\ years looked me in the face, saluting me in Irish, and 

anxious to be understood. Six others were in pursuit, 
leading each other, and jabbering in rotation. I sa- 
luted them, and the youngest screeched in fright, 
turning and giving side -glances. A little coaxing at 
length consoled her, and though she appeared to feel 
safe in my sight, yet had I dropped from the clouds in 
their midst, they could not have been more at a loss to 
know what the being could be. At length, all but the 
first who saluted me, turned up a stony ascent, and 
were soon out of sight in the mountain passes — as 
pretty a group of faces as town or city ever could pro- 
duce. The little companion who staid behind, kept 
close to my side, looking me smilingly in the face. I 
gave her a penny ; but this was not the thing desired, 
for she indifferently took it, looked at me, then up the 
mountain, settling her countenance into a look of dis- 
appointment. Then starting as from a reverie, as if 
some happy thought had directed her what next ex- 
pedient to try ; but seeing me at a loss to get her 
meaning, in apparent despair she turned through a 
niche in the wall, down a steep descent, to a cabin near 
the sea. I have ever regretted that I did not follow 
this sweet child, for she was clean, and her tiny white 
feet would have adorned the drawing-room of any lord 
in Kerry. I might have ascertained whether it was 
the instinct of hospitality, so strongly implanted in the 
Irish heart, or whether some case of suffering which 


she wished me to relieve, was the cause of her great 
earnestness. I looked after her, as her stealthy foot 
made its way cautiously down the rocks ; and as I saw 
the last waving of her dark hair upon the breeze, I 
asked, why has a wise God left so much of his finished 
handy work to dwell in dens and caves of the earth, 
where hares and rabbits, owls and magpies, are the 
only companions to reciprocate their worth ? 

Seeing a hole in the wall, and a hut upon the other 
side, I crept through, and found a widow sitting in a 
corner, with a pig on the skirt of her dress, asleep, and 
three little children beside. Seeing no bed, table, or 
cupboard, but a niche in the wall, in which were a 
couple of plates, I asked her where she slept. *' Here, 
ma'am," pointing to a pile of straw by her side. She 
said she had a bed, but no place to put it. " I wish I 
had something to give you to eat, but I have not a bit 
of bread, nor a potato." " I wish I had something to 
give you^^ I answered, " for I see no way how you can 

This was a fair specimen of all the mountaineers 
around the residence of O Connell. But when I en- 
quired the price of ground, and found they were giving 
but a shilling an acre, for the same kind of mountain 
land I had seen elsewhere rented for twenty and 
twenty-four shillings, and no ejectments allowed, I 
wondered not so much that they were loud in their 
praises of him, and that I heard the voice of singing 
and of laughter from cabin and rock, from potato- 
ridge and bog, wherever a peasant was using his spade 
or hunting the hare. From the top of the mountain 
here may be seen the celebrated light-house, on what 
is called the Skellig-rock ; a dangerous place to ap- 
proach, and where the adventurer must sometimes 
pass a week before he finds it safe to leave. This is 
the place to which the people of Kerry and Cork, on 
shrove- tide eve, amuse themselves by hunting out the 
old maids and widows, putting them into carts, on 
asses, and all kind of ludicrous vehicles, to send them 
to Skellig-rocks. The streets of Cork were alive with 

CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xx. 

this class of people, pursuing such as they deemed 
worthy a residence there, and often is the joke carried 
80 far, that some are conveyed miles out of town, and 
set down, and left to make their way back as they 

When I reached the summit of the mountain, and 
the sea with its wild shore, islands, and dashing waves 
broke upon my view, I knew the abode of the won- 
derful man O'Connell was near, and I paused to take 
a full view of the wildness around. Here then did 
the keen, deep-meaning, and nondescript eye of this 
never-tiring agitator seek out an abode ; here were the 
principles, the agitations, of the ever-stirring mind nur- 
tured and fed ; and as here, wave after wave dashes 
against the rock, so has agitation after agitation dashed 
with impetuosity against the Gibraltar of England, as 
yet impregnable. But hush! a woman must walk 
softly on political pavements. A circuitous well-made 
road winds down the mountain, and you see not the 
indescribable mansion that is embosomed in rock and 
tree, till within a few paces of the spot. Here no 
walls or surly porter, demanding a pass, hedge up the 
entrance ; but a path like that to a New England farm- 
house, leads you on, and you may take your choice of 
entrance into the heterogeneous abode, by kitchen, 
chapel, or hall ; choosing the latter, I rang the bell. 
An old man answered, saying, " I am only a stranger, 
and will enquire if you can have admittance." A 
waiter came next, and ushered me into the parlor, say- 
ing, all were from home, but Maurice O'Connell and the 
house-keeper. The countenance of the latter was to 
me better fitted to drive away the enemy than to in- 
vite the friend ; and the sequel proved more than I 
dreaded, when I met her cold penurious look and 
manner. She showed me into the library, which pre- 
sented a tolerable assortment of Encyclopaedias, lives 
of saints, Waverly Novels, law books, &c. The draw- 
ing-room contained all that is needed for ornament or 
use. The portrait of O'Connell, engraved to the life, 
taken while in the penitentiary, and one taken some 


years before, are not the least objects of interest in the 
room. The portraits of his wife, daughters, grand- 
daughters, and sons, form the most important orna- 
ments in the house. Among the family group, are a 
brother and sister, the sister in the act of swinging, 
sitting in a rope ; the little brother with a roguish 
smile, holding the rope, and a little dog looking on, 
enjoying the sport. It is the happiest touch of nature, 
in portrait painting, I ever saw. A chapel, not finished, 
is attached to one end of the house. A tablet giving 
its history and the name of the founder, is being in 
readiness, as a fixture for future ages. A well-fed 
priest was walking about, ready at any notice to per- 
form any religious duty, within the pale of his con- 
science, for the good of the family. 

The walks, the beach, and the foaming sea, the 
tower upon an eminence — the all-manner of shaped 
angles and triangles, added and superadded to the main 
body of the house — the place where it stands, and the 
person who designed it — all taken into consideration, 
make it a house and spot quite difierent from all 
others. I lingered, and looked, and left it as I found 
it, and can no more describe it than before I saw it. 

A lunch was before me at my return into the house ; 
the long table was in the dining-room, around which 
are seated, when O'Connell is at home, a goodly num- 
ber of his children ; and sometimes thirty-six grand- 
children have been seated together there, with priest and 
guests, partaking the bounties of this hospitable 

While enjoying my bread and cheese, the threaten- 
ing clouds began to drop rain : it was now twenty 
minutes past four. I had a wild mountainous walk of 
hve miles before me, and the wind was howling tre- 
mendously among the bleak mountains. I said to the 
housekeeper, " I dread the walk, my feet are blistered, 
and should the storm increase upon the mountain, as 
there is no place to lodge, what shall I do ?" " It 
will be bad for you," was the reply of this fixture in 
female forrn^ as she showed me out of the house. I 

330 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xx. 

said, " Should you ever visit New York, I will do as 
much for you, if you will call on me." My fate was 
now fixed ; I was out and the door was shut, and 
never did the bolting of the prison gate of a con- 
demned culprit, grate more harshly upon the ear, as the 
turnkey " shut him in," than did the closing of this 
door of the " Agitator," when its last echo died on my 
ear. It was then the " Repeal" of this union of wind 
and rain was the pitiful cry of my heart. The rain 
and wind were in my face, and the wild mountain 
before me. When I could face the storm no longer, I 
turned my back, and endeavoured to walk in that way. 
A poor woman and her basket were sheltered under 
the wall, and she cried out, " And why, ma'am, are ye 
out in this stawrm ? and sure why didn't ye lodge at 
Derrynane ?" " Because they did not ask me," I replied. 
" And sure they wouldn't turn a stranojer out on the 
wild mountains in such a stawrm as this 'f* *< And sure 
they did," was all I could say. 

I went on as 1 could, till the mountain was ascended; 
then the wind was at my back, and I soon had trouble 
to keep upon my feet ; and for some perches there was 
actual danger of being dashed against the rock on one 
side, or thrown over the wall into the sea, upon the 
other. Two men upon a horse were blown aside from 
the path, and I in the same direction. One hat fell 
from a rider's head, and was blown a good distance, 
when my parasol held it fast, till a footman could carry 
it to the owner ; and we were all going zig-zag as best 
we could, till the repeated gusts had spent their fury. 
I was once forced against a rock, and saved myself 
from being lost by clinging to a shelving part of it, 
till the gust passed over. It was a sad night — one 
which cannot soon be forgotten, and while my despair- 
ing grasp held me to the slippery crag, my soliloquy 
was, " And is it from the house of Daniel O'Connell 
that a female stranger has been driven this perilous 
night ? Is it from the house which, above all others, I 
had been told in my own country, was the welcome re- 
sort and tarrying place for every stranger of every 


clime, that I had been virtually turned out to perish, 
if not saved by little else than a miracle ?** True 
Daniel O'Connell was not at home, (happy thought !) 
but where was the " generous Maurice ?" He was sit • 
ting at home by a comfortable dinner, and might not 
have been told that a stranger had been there. Though 
I dealt out no anathemas, yet I did say, that the un- 
feeling instrument of my suffering, his housekeeper, 
was a bad representative of a house like his — that the 
hospitable abode of such a man, should have a sentinel 
at its post that had a common share of common hospi- 
tality. Fool that I was, that I did not ask her, as I 
thought, to let me pass the night in the tower, rather 
than risk my life on this bleak mountain I Again 
I ventured on amid pelting rain and furious blasts, till 
night overtook me, and a company of mountain pea- 
santry met me. ** And where have ye been, this 
bleak evening — not to Derrynane ?" " Yes, to Derry- 
nane." "But Tm sorry I didn't know it. I live a 
mile from the Abbey, and would have made ye quite 
comfortable in my cabin ; and why didn't ye stay ? 
I've been lookin' for ye. I wanted to talk of New 
York." It was not New York that was in my thoughts. 
I cared not a whit whether they were burning or 
freezing ; it was the bleak rugged mountain — the mad, 
foaming sea, the whirlwind, and the storm that I was 
combating ; and above, and beyond all, it was the 
'* It will be bad for you," of the penurious voice of 
the housekeeper at the door of O'Connell, that was 
ringing in my ears. At ten I reached the hospitable 
dwelling of Jerry Quirks. ** Welcome, welcome to 
my house, and stay as long as ye will, without any 
charges." Never was a salute more timely ; never did 
a salute sound more sweetly. 

Next morning the tempest was still high, and ven- 
turing upon the strand, I there saw, as at Valentia, 
crowds of females busied ; and speaking to one, she 
replied, " These stawrmy nights, ma'am, blow good luck 
to the poor ; they wash up the say-weed, and that's 
why ye see so many now at work." 

332 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xx. 

The company increased, till I counted more than 
sixty ; and busy, merry work was made of it ; running 
with heavy loads upon their heads, dripping with wet, 
exultingly throwing them down, and bounding away 
in glee. Truly, " A merry heart doeth good like a 
medicine." « And are you not cold ?" " O no, ma'am, 
the salt say keeps us warm ; the salt say, ma'am, never 
lets us take cold." " And how many days must you 
work in this way, before you get a supply ?" " Aw, 
sometimes not fawrty, but scores of days." " And all 
you have for your labour is the potato ?" " That's all, 
ma'am, that's all ; and it's many of us that can't get 
the sup of milk with 'em, no, nor the salt ; but we 
can't help it, we must be content with what the good 
God sends us." 

She hitched her basket over her shoulder, and in 
company with one older than herself, skipped upon 
the sand made wet with rain, and turning suddenly 
about, gave me a pretty specimen of Kerry dancing, 
as practised by the peasantry. " The sand is too wet, 
ma'am, to dance right well on," and again shouldering 
her basket, with a " Grod speed ye on ye'r journey," 
leaped away. 

I looked after them among the rocks, more with 
admiration for the moment, than with pity ; for what 
hearts, amid splendor and ease, lighter than these ? 
And what heads and stomachs, faring sumptuously 
every day, freer from aches than theirs, with the 
potato and sup of milk ? This woman, who danced 
before me, was more than fifty, and I do not believe 
tbat the daughter of Herodias herself, was more grace- 
ful in her movements, more beautiful in complexion 
or symmetry, than was this " dark-haired " matron of 
the mountains of Kerry. 

Wandering among the cabins, I found nothing new, 
but the same questions of " What brought ye the long 
way ?" and the same gush of kindness from a poor 
cabin woman, who followed me out with such warm 
wishes, that it was affecting — " What can I give the 
lone stranger, who has come the long way to see us ? 


I've not a hap'orth ; and could ye eat the egg ? May- 
be ye hav'nt had the breakfast ? I wished I had a 
penny to give ye.'* Assuring her that I needed no 
breakfast, and that it was but few pennies that I 
required, thanking her again and again, from my 
inmost soul, I left her door, and heard in the distance, 
** Aw, she's light on the fut, the cratur.'* 

On my return to my room, I found a work called 
" Rambles in the South of Ireland," by an English 
lady, prettily and candidly written; free from that 
sarcasm on Irish character and Irish manners so 
calculated to throw contempt on the nation, which such 
works are, and which is quite too prevalent among 
writers who visit the country to write a book. Some 
hap-hazard expression, made to give the sentence a 
lively turn or happy ending, may fix a libel on a 
people, which will be read and believed by many 


Rough Road — A kind Offer declined — Lonely and Late — The 
Funeral Lament — Maurice Raheley'8 Lodging House — Per- 
fumed Bedchamber — Sunrise on the Kerry Mountains — 
Novel Duet — Moimtain Air or City Smoke ? — Irish Roads 
— A Teetotaler in Bad Company — ^Awful Night— Sabbath 
of rest at Killamey — Gap of Dunloe — Guide Persecution — 
The ** Crazy Woman" — Where to spend the night — Bright 
Wood Fire — Recollections of Childhood — ^Dinis Island — ^Debt 
of Gratitude. 

The time of my departure drew nigh, though the 
wind had not abated, nor the sea become quiescent ; 
yet the sun found a narrow loop-hole to look down a 
few moments, and say, " Make your farewell in haste, 
if you would have my company through the lone 
mountain before you." It was three o'clock, and a 
walk of eleven Irish miles, covered with broken stones, 
fresh from the hammer, was before me. KiUoyra was 
my destination, and Maurice Raheley's house, which I 

334 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xxi. 

was assured was " nate and tidy." The hospitable ioD- 
keeper would take no pay for lodging or board. 
Blessed inn ! O, if the world, for every ten miles, 
were filled with the like, then might travellers eat, 
drink, smoke, and sleep, without this melting away of 
gold and silver. 

A little mountain girl, from a rocky foot-path 
leading from the ascent, accosted me. ** And sure ye 
hav'n't far to walk alone ?" Answering her, " To the 
foot of the mountain." " To the fut of the mountain ! 
and the night 'ill be on ye ; but Tm in the way with 
ye a good bit." She was a pleasant companion for 
two miles, when a comely well-dressed young man, on 
a good horse, accosted me, wondering at seeing me on 
foot. " The wild scenery of these mountains," I 
answered, " was one great inducement, and to shorten 
my route, another." " And wouldn't ye get up, and 
let me give ye a lift of a couple of miles ?" I looked 
at the lively steed, the sprightliness of the young man, 
and had I been in my teens, might have been strongly 
prompted to accept the offer. But as my appearance to 
the complaisant gallant was nothing favorable, I de- 
clined, and he walked his horse to keep me company, 
giving me intelligent answers to my inquiries of the 
state of the country, presenting the same dark picture 
of its hapless condition as others had done, till a 
different road turned him away ; and when I saw the 
grey courser gallopping off, and heard the last sound 
of his hoofs upon the path, I paused — all was solitude. 

The sun had sunk behind a black mountain, twilight 
was letting down her soft curtain upon the heathy 
landscape, and not the buzz of an insect fell upon my 
ear. Not the smoke of a cabin curled in the air, and 
neither man or beast met my admiring eye. Nature 
seemed here to say, " Walk softly, and let me enjoy 
my solitude alone." From a far distant mountain, a 
mournful sound fell on my ear. It was the wail for 
the dead. It swelled in heavy tones, and then died 
away, as they who chanted it descended a valley ; thus 
alternately rising and falling, for five long miles, did 


this lamentation float on the air. The solitude, the 
lateness of the hour, my distance from the land of my 
fathers, among so primitive a people, whose bible 
customs have been retained since the mourning for 
Jacob in the "threshing floor of Atad," made this 
lamentation a pleasant mournful accompaniment over 
the barren waste I was walking. The rustics after- 
wards told me it was a lone old woman who had died 
in her cabin on the mountain, and she must be brought 
" to lie with her kin in the valley." 

The shadows of night were now heavy on the 
outstretched bog before me ; a woman and young lad 
came out of a cabin, and the youth said, " This is a 
lonely road for a lady to walk, and where can ye be 
goin'?" "To Maurice Rahele/s" — " Marice Rahe- 
ley's ! and the night is now nearly on ye, and ye've a 
long two miles under yer f ut ; we'll be on the way a 
half mile on." They gave me directions in the kindest 
manner, and turned away. The night " was on me ;" 
the road, long and dreary, was before me, covered 
with coarse gravel, without the smoke of a cabin or 
the sight of sheep, cow, or ass, to tell me that I was 
not alone in the world. The stillness of death reigned ; 
for in Ireland the night knows not the howl of the 
beast of prey, and it was not the season for the 
chirping cricket ; and not a sound for more than a 
weary mile once broke upon my ear. The barking of 
a dog from a far distant mountain, suddenly told me 
that I was in the precincts of man's abode. " Wel- 
come, dog," I said ; " however coarse and ugly you may 
be, you have the voice of a dog, and could I reach 
you, I would pat you on the head, I would give you a 
piece of bread from my bag ;" but, alas I I had but a 
scanty crust. The Irish peasant dogs, like their 
masters, are patient and kind ; many a one has met 
me at the door of a cabin, and instead of barking as a 
surly dog would, by the wagging of his tail and in- 
viting look of the eye, said, "Walk in, walk in, 
stranger ; my master will make ye welcome to our 
fire and our potato." 

836 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xxi. 

If ever a being wanted to see Maurice Rahelej, I 
was that being. At last I descried a human form 
approaching. " God save ye kindly, lady ; and what 
misfortune has brought ye among these lone mountains 
to night ? I'm sorry for ye ; for, if I can see rightly, 
ye're no common body. And where's the comrade that 
should be wid ye ?" Telling him who I was, and what 
was my object, he added, "And ye'U soon be at 
Maurice Raheley's lodgin', God speed ye." I hurried 
on with fresh vigor, and at last, on a hill, the slated 
roof of the long desired dwelling appeared. Meeting 
a man a few paces from the door, I said, " Is this the 
lodging-house, sir ?'* " This is no lodging-house ; but 
he'll keep ye, as ye're alone and a stranger." My heart, 
which had been beating high with expectation, began 
to flag a little ; but wading through the usual preface 
to almost every cabin in Ireland, (a manure heap,) I 
met at the crossing of the threshold, cows, calves, 
sheep, and lambs, occupying half of the room, which 
was made up with a host of children, and I asked, 
"Are these all your family, madam?" "Some oi 
'em are nian-sarvants and maid-sarvants, ma'am," was 
the reply. 

" Do you take lodgers here ?" " We don't, ma'amw" 
"But why have I been told this by so many on 
whom I have inquired ?" 

" I know not, unless to lead you astray, ma'am." 
" And what am I to do ? There is no house where ] 
can go." 

" We'll not send ye out to night, as ye're a stranger.' 
Soon I heard the sound of a pot behind me ; the 
good housewife was pouring in potatoes. " And they're 
for you, ma'am," said the old grandfather. A bowl oi 
milk, saucer of butter, and cup of salt, were sooi 
before me, by the side of a bountiful plate of potatoes 
and while I was taking, with a high relish, my potatoes 
and salt alone, a son of the family read aloud a traci 
which I gave him. 

In the midst of this stable the mother brought out 
two clean linen sheets, and aired them, lit up a flr^ 

CHIP, xxn.] CO. OF KEREY. 337 

and soon I was invited ** down " through the lodging- 
place of the cattle, into a bed-room without a floor, 
with a proud pile of more than fifty bushels of potatoes, 
fresh from the pit, which the mother said was but a 
bit for all the family. The smell of these, with that 
issuing from under the door where the cattle lay, 
and the smoke from the newly made turf fire, made my 
condition not only unpleasant, but so suffocating, that 
I feared at times serious results. Glad was I when 
the faithful cock in the next room announced the day. 
I arose, and asking for my bill, was answered, " No- 
thing." I gave him the usual price, an English six- 
pence, and went out. 

The morning was beautiful, the light and shade 
upon the picturesque mountain which I must cross 
were of a new and varied kind. To give an idea of 
them I can only say, cross the Kerry mountains in a 
clear morning before sunrise, and if there is a soul 
within you capable of being roused, that soul will be 
stirred. I soon found myself in something like a vast 
amphitheatre, with mountains piled on mountains, 
" Alps on Alps ;" covered with heath, without a tree, 
the sun -rays streaming athwart from behind me to the 
top of the mountains before, leaving me in a dusky 
pleasant solitude which was entirely new. I walked 
two miles, and passed one cabin by the road-side, and 
a few scattered ones at a distance upon the sloping 
hill. The enchantment increased, and the breezes of 
heaven that morning wafted a new and exhilarating 
fragrance. I sat down to enjoy it upon a moss-hillock, 
and commenced singing, for the Kerry mountains are 
the best conductors of sound of any I have ever 
met ; they in some places not only give echoes, but 
thrills, as the ever -busy wind penetrates the circles and 
caves. I had sung but a passage, when, from over a 
wide stretched valley, a mountain boy, with a herd 
of cattle, struck up a lively piper's song, so clear 
and shrill that I gladly exchanged my psalmody for 
morning notes like these. It was to me a hymn of 
praise ; it said that God had compensated in part for 

338 CO. OF KERRY. [chap, xxn- 

all the deficiencies of food, raiment, society, &c. by the 
almost holj inspiration of the mountain air, which, in 
spite of all painful drawbacks, will impart a spon- 
taneous cheerfulness, keeping pure that life-blood 
which spreads vigor and health unsought by medicine. 
I listened till a pause ensued, and again conmienced ; 
instantly he responded, and though the distance was 
a mile at least, yet alternately we kept up the song 
till his was lost in the distance. Seeing a spark- 
ling rivulet leaping down the mountain before me, 
I ascended to its side, stopped, uncovered my head and 
hands, laved and revelled in almost unearthly delights. 
The wide circular valley at my feet, the Kerry moun- 
tains, with their blossoming heath and playful streams, 
were made on purpose for me, surely, that morning, 
for they were just to my liking; and the sun and 
heavens, too, shed a light which said, <* Look ! for you 
never again will see this same morning on this same 
Kerry mountain." 

A little girl, at a distance upon a rock, was gazing 
in astonishment, wondering at seeing a moving being 
with a bonnet upon her head on this mountain. Still 
farther on had a man ascended the point of a hill, and 
stood in silence. A pony slowly approached, looked, 
and turned away. There was not a cabin in sight, 
nor the smoke of one; but somewhere lived men, wo- 
men, and children in these defiles. The road was a 
new one, lately cut through this mountain ; no carriage 
had passed it, and mine was certainly the first Ameri- 
can foot that had ever trod this bold, defying height ; 
and in my pride I looked down upon cities, with all 
their little fripperies, with a kind of contempt. Ah, 
who would have your smoke, your bricks, and your 
marbles, huddled into confined streets and stenchy 
alleys, when the unadulterated air of heaven might be 
yours, where God has thrown together, in awful 
grandeur, piles on piles, and scattered the rising 
springs, and sent down the laughing rivulet, and 
wound the serpentine brook and river in every varied 
profusion ? Romantic as I was, the spot was more so ; 


and as I sat upon a rock, eating a deliciously sweet 
and dry crust, with my bonnet and parasol by my side 
on this fairy spot, had youth and beauty been mine, 
the pencil of a tourist might have made out a mountain 
landscape of no small interest. 

I must proceed; the <irust was finished, the mountain 
top ascended. I looked back, and could my voice have 
reached across the Atlantic, I would have shouted to 
them, " come and see my enviable site." I was not 
willing to turn away from this enchanting eminence, 
but through the cleft upon the other side, scenes 
as beautiful caught my eyes. A wide extent of valley 
was spread out, interspersed with bog, heath, and 
grass, with the prepared ridge for the potato ; far 
beyond were mountains, grand and high, lifting their 
proud summits; now and then a pleasant little lake 
was sparkling in the sun-beam. The smoke of cabins, 
and large flocks of noble-looking sheep, were scattered 
here and there. Some straggling children among the 
rocks saw me, and looking up, paused a moment, ran 
toward a cabin, and climbed upon a pile of stones. 
I shouted and shouted to them, but could get no 
answer, they seemed rivetted to the spot, unlike all 
upon these mountains, who at first sight would ge- 
nerally run at full speed, sometimes screeching with 
fear, then ascend some eminence, and when I had well 
passed, burst out into a wild boisterous laugh, saying 
in effect, " She's gone, she's gone, and the danger 
is over." It was only in the wildest mountains that 
the children were timid, and this I was informed was 
occasioned by never having seen a woman with a bon- 
net upon her head; they supposed the bonnet was 
a part of the strange being. 

As I descended the hill upon the other side, new 
scenes awaited me. The treat I had just been enjoy- 
ing was too rich for constant food. The road now be- 
came almost intolerable, gravel stones had been flung 
on for ten miles, or more, without being trodden 
down ; my feet soon were blistered, and walking was 
grievous. Bridges over small streams were not made^ 

Q 2 

340 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xxn. 

and I must cross upon slippery stones, or wade. I 
cannot speak ill of the roads of Ireland, for in most 
parts they are not only good, but faultless, and this 
would frequently have induced me to walk, had I no 
other cause. Often, when my indignation against the 
rags of Ireland would swell across the channel to the 
house of parliament, " Ah, but see what beautifully 
enticing roads have they made, for the bare feet of 
the beggars to walk," would be the soothing reply. 
But the road I was on had not been finished for the 
traveller. Never before could I realize the import of 
doing penance by walking with pebbles in the shoes ; 
the tops of my boots were loose, and every few 
moments I must stop, and pour out the gravel-stones 
collected in them. Beside, I had turned from the route 
intended in the morning, which was to Killorglin, for 
the purpose of going through the Gap of Dunloe, and 
was told when it was too late that it would lengthen 
my route six miles. 

Night was coming on, and a lodging-house was the 
thing really needed. One was pointed to me, which 
when reached was nothing but a stable, and used for 
cattle as well as people. They answered, " Never mind 
him, we don't take lodgers." Hobbling along, I be- 
came an object of great wonder. The country was 
now thickly sprinkled with cabins, and all the moving 
beings which they contained turned out, to salute, to 
gape, or to follow me. My suffering became so acute, 
that I felt like fainting ; and stepping to a door, 
I asked if lodgings could be found in the vicinity, 
" Not any this side of Killarney/* was the answer. " I 
cannot reach it then, and must stop by the way-side." 
I had walked more than twenty miles, ten of which 
had been on round or sharp pebbles for a carpet ; 
sometimes getting upon a cart, and carrying my boots 
in my hand for a little mitigation. I had eaten nothing 
but the happy dry crust on the enchanted morning, 
and the aggregate was a considerable burden to think 
of supporting four miles longer. The bare-footed 
woman of whom I inquired said, " If I had a bed, you 


should not go any further, but come in, and sit down, 
and rest ye a bit." This I did not refuse, and followed 
her into the lodge, sat down upon a bench, and there 
remained. She kindly offered to do the best she could, 
which was to put some straw upon the floor, and place 
me on it. This was a rich prospect. The potatoes 
were in readiness, and when engaged in eating them, 
the husband entered, intoxicated, wild, and noisy. 
Never were a morning and evening at greater ex- 
tremes than this, in my state of feeling. 

I could not get away : the scene was terrific. Three 
men entered, two to drink with the master, and the 
third, a teetotaller, to keep the whole sober. Till one 
o'clock they staid, sending out a girl for fresh sup- 
plies, and no entreaties could get the man of the house 
to bed. I begged the sober man to find me some 
retreat, but he could not, and at two they all departed, 
leaving three females to contend as we could with the 
infuriate wretch, who had undressed himself and pro- 
mised to lie down, before the sober man left him. As 
soon as the men had passed the gate, he seized the 
tongs, grasped the throat of his wife, and told me if I 
spoke or attempted to stir, he would throw me into the 
river, which was deep, and passing under the window 
of the lodge. The affrighted woman struggled and 
screamed, and I succeeded by stealth in getting the 
tongs, and carrying them out, together with the spade. 
It rained, and I stopped out, till the violence within 
was so frightful that I feared murder would be the 
result, and ventured in. A calm followed, and he 
approached the bed of his three affrighted children, 
bade them a long farewell, and went out into the rain, 
after putting on his clothes. 

The straw was spread upon the floor for my bed, 
and without any covering I placed myself on it. The 
cock at the door soon told me it was day, and though 
the rain was still pouring I said good morning to the 
suffering woman, and went out. My feet were so 
blistered, the road was so clayey, and the rain poured 

342 CO. OP KERRY. [chap. xxn. 

so profusely, that the four miles to Killamey were long 
and sad ones. 

Every thing was done by the good Mrs. C. at the 
lodging-house, to make me forget the sorrows of the 
last twenty-four hours ; and a Sabbath of quiet so re- 
freshed me, that on Monday I ventured upon new 
perils. I had found in all my tedious walks that a night's 
rest restored me to vigor, so that I was prepared for a 
fresh undertaking every morning, even when chairs, or 
a pile of straw might be the bed. Not so with a ride 
upon a coach. It was almost impossible to secure a seat ; 
and when, by the crowding and jolting of a day's jaunt, 
I became fatigued, this fatigue made a visit often of 
many days. 

The gap of Dunloe has had so many visitors and 
so many historians — ^has given so many echoes, and paid 
so many guides — that what remains for me is to say that 
I walked five miles to reach it, and found an old man 
at the entrance, busied in his field, who insisted on 
leaving all to accompany me. I told him I preferred 
the walk alone, that a guide would confuse me. They 
always hurried on, disgusting me with all sorts of fairy 
stories, diverting my mind from every thing use- 
ful, and leaving it in a labyrinth more bewildering 
than the voice of nature with the eyes for handmaids. 
" But ye're a stranger, and I would take no pay ; ye 
cannot go alone," &c. I escaped, and entered the 
wonders. The little lake, the craggy mountain on 
on the right, and the purple one on the left, first opened 
to view ; the richness and beauty of the latter scarcely 
can have a rival, and most of the peaks on both sides 
are enveloped in clouds, 

** And mid- way leave the storm." 

A rugged foot-path led me on till I reached a cabin, 
and a young man was ready as a guide. I told him I 
could make no possible use of one. " But he can show 
you the shortest route." This was true Kerry cun- 
ning ; I answered him that it was impossible to stray 
from the path, as there was but one, and that could 

CHAP, xxn.] CO. OP KERRY. 343 

not be left without climbing precipitous rocks. He 
turned away, and in an undertone said, <*Ah, she 
understands.'* Passing out, I met two gentlemen with 
a guide, who had a half hour before burst a good rifle 
when making echoes. When they had passed I sat 
down upon a rock, to make echoes for myself by sing- 
ing a hymn, and these two gentlemen concealed them- 
selves to listen, returned to Killarney, and reported 
that they had enjoyed the sweetest echoes imaginable 
in the gap, from a crazy woman, who passed them 
alone, and sung two sweet hymns, while they were 
secluded within hearing. The novelty of seeing a 
woman without a guide led them to suppose I must be 
crazy. I soon met another, then three more, all in- 
sisting I must have a guide ; and in no way could I 
escape but by insisting that I should not accept of one. 
At last this pile of rocks on rocks, mountains ,on 
mountains, was passed, and I stood upon the top, 
looking upon the other side, where the mountain 
scenery, like all other Kerry beauties and sublimities, 
must be seen to be understood. I had read something 
of them before seeing them, but had no just conception 
of the reality. Enjoying the treat in silent admira-* 
tion, I heard the sound of footsteps, and looking about, 
was saluted, " Sure ye're a wonderful wawker ; I have 
followed ye a mile and a-half through the Gap, and 
couldn't overtake ye. And why should ye be alone ? 
Sure the like of ye never was known ; an' where may 
ye be from?" "From New York." "From New 
Yawrk ! an' what's the raison that ye're here alone ? 
and have ye no comrade ?" " Not a comrade in the 
world, sir, nor kindred who cares for me." " An' ye're 
come to this poor country I An' ye must have a dale 
of money." Had I been afraid of robbery, I should 
have shown him my purse ; but looking at him as a 
whole, I feared no evil. He was old, carrying a staff 
from necessity, and so dirtily dressed, that if he had 
no living things about him, it must be because they 
had left to find a richer, cleaner pasture. The path 
wound around the mountain to a deep valley at the 


844 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xxn. 

head of the lake, and through what was once the taste- 
ful domain of Lord Brandon, now grown over with 
weeds and thistles, and looking more suitable for the 
abode of the screeching owl and dancing satyr than 
the pleasure-grounds of a lord. A slovenly farmer 
had rented it, and left every where the impress of 
sloth and bad taste. His wife, when we entered the 
cottage, was sitting upon her haunches on a settee, with 
her heels drawn under her,, in the commendable occu- 
pation of knitting. Her children and domicile appeared 
as if " the virtuous woman, who looketh well to the 
ways of her household," had not passed that way. The 
tower and garden, like Solomon's field of the slothful, 
were grown over with nettles, and the stone wall 
thereof was broken down. And had the surly owner, 
who once expended thirty thousand pounds to make 
this a spot of proud wonder to strangers, been allowed 
again to walk over these grounds, if his penurious 
heart still retains any earthly relish, he would have 
dealt out anathemas against the miscreants, who had 
so effectually defaced all that was once beautiful in the 
eye of the visitor. 

I bade good evening to the housewife, who never 
left her post, and the bold officious guide followed me 
out to ask a penny for tobacco. So annoyed had I 
been with his company, that I begged him to return 
when on the mountain ; he would not, and I resolved 
that I would furnish him no means for smoking, as a 
compensation for such intrusion. I now hoped that I 
might be suffered to make my way alone, to what place 
I knew not, for here the road terminated. Hyde Park 
cottage was what, when I left Killamey, I hoped to 
see, but at this place was told that it now existed only 
in name. All I could do was to go on, and make a patli 
for myself through mire and bog, till I plunged into 
a thick wood. It was sun -set, and began to rain. To 
go back through the gap was impossible ; and before 
me was a dark wood, without a path, and full of 
pits of water. I looked about for some rock under 
which I could creep and stop for the night; a 

CHAP, xxu.] CO. OF KERRY. 345 

comfortable one soon met my sight. To stay under 
the rock would ensure me a shelter, no venomous ser- 
pent was there, rain could not reach me, and I felt not 
the least timidity. Had a father or brother been with 
me, and I had looked to him for protection, I should 
have felt some repugnance ; but the Protector, who 
was constantly about my path, I knew never " slum- 
bers or sleeps," and feeling not the least hesitation, I 
was about stooping to make my ingress : but when I 
heard the barking of a dog, and the sound of an 
axe, I demurred. 

The rain would make the difficulty of getting through 
the swamp greater, and I waded on. A Cottage ap- 
peared, but they did not take lodgers. This was the 
third night in four that I had been deceived in respect 
to lodging-houses, and began seriously to think that 
Kerry archness had been gratifying its cunning on me. 
The astonished family could give me no " tay, nor no 
bread, but," said the master, " the night and the rain 
are heavy on ye, and the w^ is seven long miles to 
Killarney ; ye would be destroyed, an' we'll give ye a 
bed." The cottage had a stone floor ; a bright wood 
fire was blazing, the floor and tearth were nicely 
swept, and no Astral lamp shone brighter than did 
that pleasant fire. The sweet days of childhood, when 
the green mountains and valleys of Vermont were my 
home, when brothers and sisters had assembled around 
the glad fireside, rose in review. 

** I thought of the days of other years, and my soul was sad.*' 

Never in Ireland had an evening of such welcome 
sadness been mine. A pot of black minion potatoes 
were prepared for me, while the family waited to boil 
those of an inferior quality for themselves. This was 
genuine cabin hospitality. They had a few choice po- 
tatoes reserved for planting, and some of these must 
be provided, because the stranger must not have an 
inferior article. We talked of Dunloe, of Killarney, 
and of Hyde Park, the owners of which had all gone 
down to the dust. "But," said the man, " had you seen 


346 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xxn. 

the rector of Hyde Park, he was the one that the peo- 
ple loved ; he was so kind to the poor and sick, not a 
hap'orth of a cabin in all the parish but his f ut was in ; 
and though he was a Protestant, yet he sarved the 
Catholics with as many a good turn as he did his own ; 
and when he died, wasn*t there the lamentation ! His 
people, ye must know, wont have the Irish cry when 
their dead is buried, but not a dry cheek was there 
that day ; and when they brought out the body for the 
hairse, not a hap'orth of the Catholics would let 'em do 
it, but said they would carry it on their shoulders, and 
so they did. Aw, the like o'him warn't in all the 

A chaff bed with clean sheets was placed upon 
chairs by that pleasant fire, and an invigorating sleep 
prepared me for a fresh walk in the morning. I suc- 
ceeded in leaving a few pennies when I went away, but 
regretted that I did, for the woman accompanied me 
out, saying, " An' sure d'ye think weVe no heart for 
the stranger ? An' wouldn't ye do the like for me in 
yer country ?" She conducted me into a wood, where 
a beautiful cascade foaming down a precipice met my 

My seven miles' morning walk was but just com* 
menced, when a rosy faced girl of fourteen, with her 
apron across her arm, containing a few groceries, salu- 
ted me. " Good morrow kindly, ma'am, and ye've not 
been to Dinis Island ; it's but a mile down the walk 
under yer fut, and the road to Killarney is a long five 
miles. Will ye turn in, and I will show ye to the 
cottage ?" I had met this pretty Kerry girl before, 
near the same place, who had urged me to see this 
island, and her sweet face and kind manner now pre- 
vailed. She had walked nine miles that morning, and 
her pretty foot was not soiled, nor, as she told me, was 
her leg weary, though she was much concerned for 
mine. A winding path through a beautiful wood took 
us to Dinis cottage, where the family were breakfast- 
ing on bread and tea — ^the bread of the woman's own 
making, which was not only a rarity, but a delicious 

CHAP, xxn.] CO. OF KERRY. 347" 

treat. They had lived some time in North America, 
consequently treated me kindly. The children had 
clean faces, well-combed hair, tidy apparel, and the 
cottage bore the marks of the industrious housekeeper. 
They were Protestants. The mother was teaching^ 
her children, as they had no school on the island. But 
sorry am I to say, that in no family had I heard so 
much profanity, both from mother and children. I 
would not expose it; but no one could stay in the 
house many hours and not hear it, and such sins should 
be rebuked before all. 

A day and night passed here gave me a good ac- 
quaintance with the scenery of these lakes, which con- 
vinced me that, to admire Killamey beauties, they 
must not too hastily be hurried over. The little bare- 
footed girl was always with me when she could get an 
opportunity, and had been quite a guide to strangers 
on that island, and was very intelligent. But Killar- 
ney and its beauties must be left, and I bade Dinis 
Island a long adieu; I returned, and prepared for 
leaving Killamey, and have much kindness to record 
as exercised towards me in the inn where I lodged by 
mother and daughters. They were well paid for what 
they did, but it was done with so becoming a grace and 
such good will, that it made me feel an obligation which 
is a privilege to acknowledge. When I was out all night 
at Hyde Park, they, knowing what the walk must be 
even with company, were much concerned ; and when 
night came on, sent about the town to make enqui- 
ries. Had I been a member of the family, they could 
not have done more. The gentlemen's telling them 
they had met a " crazy woman" in the gap, was all the 
information they could get of me until the next day. 

348 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xxm. 


Tralee— Public-house honesty— A "Gentleman" — Mr. Wal- 
pole's Honorable Dealings — Christianity at Dingle—" They 
always Stand" — One Bright Spot — The Converts — ^Education 
of the Lower Order — Nancy Brown's Parlor — Coquetry and 
Gallantry — Peasant Girl's Poetry — Learned Priest — Sybil 
Head — "Look I Lookl" — ^Fearless children — Disappointment 
and Vexation — Candid Hotel-keeper — Banks of the Shannon. 

Thursday, at four o'clock, I took the car for Tra- 
lee. The ride was through a somewhat dreary part of 
the country, with little that was interesting ; but the 
adventures at Tralee were comical, if not tragical. 

Arriving at the town, a bevy of applicants from 
Walpole's hotel poured upon me, to take me to his inn, 
and to Dingle on his car the next day. I told them I 
did not choose an inn, but private lodgings. This did 
not shake them off, till,, jumping from the car, I begged 
some one to show me suitable lodgings. One was 
pointed out to me across the way, I escaped into the 
house, and the troop in pursuit. I had but just seated 
myself in a chamber, when a civil young man stepped 
after me, and enquired if I wished a conveyance to 
Dingle. Saying that I did, he then said, " to-morrow 
at eleven I will give you a seat on my car for three 
shillings." The distance to Dingle was little more than 
thirty miles. I made the engagement, gave him my lug- 
gage, and as he passed out he said, " You won't disap- 
point me, I hope." " Certainly not," was the answer. 
When he had go ne, I found that his was an opposition 
car, that Mr. Walpole had occupied the road for years, 
had made money by it, and charged more for the fare. 
More of this to-morrow. 

The house I was in was a whiskey den, and 
leaving my gloves and pocket-handkerchief upon 
a table in my room, I stepped down, and told 

CHAP, xxm.] CO. OF KERRY. 349 

the woman who was selling the baneful commo- 
dity that though I had asked for lodgings in her 
house, yet I could not stay to leave one shilling in a 
place devoted to such evil work, and begged her to 
think seriously of the degrading wicked business she 
was in, and abandon it for one that was more honest. 
She was angry, and talked as a woman would talk in 
such an employment ; and while I was standing there, 
my gloves and handkerchief were taken. I mentioned 
it to the woman, who refused making enquiry. I told 
her this was proof positive of what had so offended 
her, that the employment was dishonest, and those 
who were engaged in it were not to be trusted in mat- 
ters where self interest was concerned. 

The young man was at the door with whom I was 
to go to Dingle, and went with me to another lodging 
house, where, though no whiskey was sold, yet the sad 
effects were manifested about three o'clock in the 
morning, by a loud thundering at the door, demanding 
entrance in a most outrageous manner. The good 
woman arose, put her head out of the window, 
and enquired who was there, and what was wanting. 
" A gentleman was there, and wanted his hat," was 
the answer, and that he would have, if not peaceably, 
by violence. The mistress told him his hat was not 
there ; he told her it was. She answered that he had 
not been in the house, but he assured her he would be 
in, and commenced another battering with fists and 
boots, till the distracted woman in self-defence went 
down and opened the door. The " gentleman" searched 
for his hat, but no hat was there, and he walked 
quietly away. 

I passed a miserable night, took a miserable 
breakfast in a miserable dirty room, and went out. 
Before eleven, which was the carman's appointed 
hour, I returned to my lodgings to be in readiness, 
when two young lads entered, asking if I had any 
trunks, and said the car was ready. I told them my 
luggage was in the care of the carman, and he had 
said he should go at eleven, and it was not the hour. 
" The car is ready, and you must hurry to the post 

350 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xxni. 

office and pay fare." I did so, and as I handed the 
money into the hand of the clerk, the man who had 
engaged to take me to Dingle, stepped near, and said, 
"you have paid into the wrong office." The fraud 
was evident. They had watched where I changed my 
. lodgings, when I left the night preceding, and had sent 
these lads to secure my money before the time that I 
was to go out. I turned to the clerk, telling him I 
had been deceived, had made a previous engagement 
with the young man, and he now had my luggage. 
He refused, declaring he would pay no money back, 
that the car was ready, I might take it or leave it at 
ray option ; my money was in his hands, and there it 
should be, but he would condescend to take me to 
Dingle for the three shillings. A crowd assembled. 
A policeman said, " We can do nothing for you, but 

you should consult Esq." He was a peace-maker 

in the town, and would persuade Walpole to do right. 
The peace-maker appeared ; the portly Mr. Walpole 

appeared also. ** What do you want, Esq. ?" " To 

enquire into the affair concerning this stranger.** 
" There is a car I'eady, she has paid her money to me, 
and she may go or stay; her money she shall not have." 
I pleaded a stranger's claim, a female and unprotected. 
I appealed to an Irishman's honor to an American, ou 
whose shores so many of his countrymen had found a 
welcome home. He sullenly refused ; the magistrate 
told him it was kidnapping, and begged him to return 
the money. The great and the small were there, and 
the good feeling of the police, and indeed all but the 
man himself, deserve my acknowledgment. One 
whispered in my ear, ** He is not an Irishman, but a 
Scotch Presbyterian." I turned to Walpole, and told 
him I was happy to learn that he was not an Irishman, 
and now better understood my true condition. The 
young man generously offijred to give me my baggage, 
or carry me for nothing, as I had once paid. I told 
him I would not ride with a man who would defraud 
a stranger, neither would I take his car without pay- 

CHAP, xxm.] CO. OF KERRY. 351 

iiig, but would walk to Dingle if he would carry my 
luggage. I went on, the policeman begging me to 
ride, and the poor following and saying, " Ye'd be de- 
stroyed, and he's a rich old blackguard. The young 
man that has the car is as fine a lad as ye'U find in the 
country." One poor woman, with an infant in her 
arms, went out of town more than a mile, barefooted 
and bareheaded, though the sun was scorching ; nor could 
I prevail on her to return. " Ye're a lone stranger, 
and that blackguard of a Scotchman to trate ye so." 
When she saw me well out of town, she returned, and 
I walked eight miles in torment with blistered feet, 
which had not been healed since my Killarney expedi- 
tion. The carman then overtook me, with five on his 
car, and prevailed on me to be the sixth. We arrived 
at Dingle at nine odock, and I stayed at the house of 
his sister where he lodged^ and found the same accom- 
modations, the same food, and the same kindness as in 
all houses among the poor. 

In the morning I arose in the celebrated town of 
Dingle, a •* city on a hill." Distant as it is from all 
the world beside, yet it has for the last few years said 
to all who would hear, " Turn aside, and look at me." 
Its bay is full of interest, and its people more so ; and 
as the people were my object, I must talk of them. A 
Catholic woman of much good nature and some intelli- 
gence called early, and offered to accompany me to see 
the town. Her first depot unasked was to the house 
of a priest; considerable time was taken to get an 
introduction to his presence, and when we did, his 
every look and taciturnity seemed to say, ** What 
brought you here ?" He was the first I had met who 
showed reserve, but Dingle had been struggling with 
party creeds, and as the <* soupers," as the Protestant 
converts are called, were getting quite numerous, the 
priest had all his sensibilities awake to keep the prowler 
from making further inroads into his fold. A new 
comer from a foreign country might be the very '* wolf 
in sheep's clothing" to beguile more of the faithful, 

352 CO. OF KERRY. [chap, xxiii. 

and, as I was afterwards informed, he therefore kept 
more caution. So I was sen* empty away. 

Having an invitation from the wife of a Protestant 
clergyman, sent by the gardener, I made my way 
np the hill, in company with a tidy looking Catholic 
girl to lead me to the door. Supposing myself invited, 
I made no hesitation in saying to the servant, (who 
was a long time answering the knock,) that I was the 
person Mrs. G. had invited, giving my name. Mrs. 
G. was engaged. *<Will you give my name?" I 
asked. She hesitated; went again, and returned 
with, " She is very busy." What could this trifling 
mean ? Had the gardener deceived me ? Is this the 
house of a missionary ? When will the nonsense of a 
silly world lose its hold of the professed christian 
church ? I went away disgusted, and was descending 
the hill when a message was sent, " Will you come 
back ?" I answered, it was of no consequence. " The 
mistress sent me to ask you." I returned, met the 
lady in the hall, to whom I said, " Is this Mrs. G. 
and was a message sent to me by the gardener?" 
" Walk in," was the answer. " It is of no conse- 
quence," I said. "Walk in." I followed into the 
parlor and was immediately asked my message to Ire- 
land. It was told, and likewise that I had called on 
the Catholic priest. Surprised, she suddenly answered, 
" And what did you call on him for ? I will never 
go near any of them. They are a persecuting people." 
" I thought they were the subjects we were to strive to 
benefit, and how can we do them good by keeping 
aloof?" " When they come to us, we always receive 
them kindly, but we do not proselyte. Though we 
are accused of going after them, we do not ; neither 
do we bribe them, as it is said of us, by feeding them 
and promising high wages. There is a man," point- 
ing to one in the field, " who works faithfully here 
through the week for eight-pence a day. Do you call 
that bribing him ? He is glad to have it." " I call that op- 
pression," was my answer. " Well, he is glad to do it." 

Again she interrogated, " Do you make a practice 

CHAP, xxiii.] CO. OF KERRY. 353 

of going among the Catholics ?" " I make a practice 
of going among all the poor without distinction, but 
am sorry to say that * my own' often reject me, and I 
should more than once have been without a shelter, if 
the Catholics had not received me, when the Protes- 
tants would not." 

I gained but little information, though the missionary 
himself and his friend Mr. C. were present ; the latter 
I had been told was a spiritual Christian, and I hoped 
from him to learn the true state of things. They all 
acted as if dinner were cooling, and the sooner this 
Jesuitical spy shall have done the better. The poor 
woman who accompanied me stood in the hall during 
the hour that I stopped, aud I begged the mistress to 
give her a seat or send her away. " No matter, they 
always stand," was the answer. 

I went away without declining dinner, for no invita- 
tion was given ; and will not be so independent as to 
say that I was not disappointed. I was grieved ; not 
for the personal treatment, but grieved that so noble, 
so apostolic a work was in the hands of those whose 
hospitality, whose humility, whose courteousness to 
strangers, and whose self-denial, were so far behind 
the principles they professed to inculcate. I went to 
the house with no prejudice, hoping to hear a true 
statement of the good work going on ; and the poor 
waiting Catholic woman, who was not a " souper ," was 
telling me on the way that she knew I should be 
treated kindly, and when we turned from the door, she 
said, " I was sorry she kept ye so long, and didn't ask 
ye to take a comfortable bit." 

My acquaintance in life had ever been much among 
the clergy, and though I had long since known they 
were not exempt from the frailties of human nature, 
and that Christ's example was always the safest to 
follow, yet I had never seen them so little given to 
hospitality, so uncourteous to strangers, and so out- 
wardly conformed to the maxims of the world, as some 
I had met in Ireland ; and yet I heard many edify- 
ing sermons from them. 

354 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xxm. 

My prospects brightened a little when I was in the 
evening introduced into a Methodist family. Every 
christian kindness was here shown that could be, and 
I was conducted to a comfortable room, and told by 
the " prudent wife " that here was the christian pil- 
grim's room, always kept to entertain strangers. 
" Here,** she added, "you may find a welcome home 
while in Dingle/' Her husband was a coast-guard, a 
noble Irishman of whom his country might be proud. 
Three daughters and a son composed this happy 
family. It was a family well ordered, and one of 
happy christian love. Here I staid, and here I loved 
to stay ; here the morning and evening prayer ascended 
from hearts kindled by christian union. Sabbath 
morning I walked two miles to a poor dwelling, in 
company with Mrs. J. and her daughter, to meet with 
an humble few in a little class meeting, and to hear 
from these poor cabiners, in this remote part of the 
earth, that same dialect which is spoken wherever the 
story of Calvary has been told. It was pleasant, it 
was good to be there. How many times in Ireland 
have I blessed God that he sent the ever-stirring, 
warm-hearted Methodists into that island. Their zeal 
has a redeeming quality in it that few others manifest ; 
it never goes out ; the bush, though burning, is never 

Attended church and met the converts, and whether 
they had changed the Latin version for the English, 
in changing their prayer books, and knew not the 
difference, I know not, but only a few among them 
could read. I visited the converts, and talked with 
them on their great change, and found them as I found 
their Papist neighbours, in all respects but one. They 
invariably answered me, when I inquired concerning 
the great change which had taken place in their minds, 
"We do not worship images." But what the new 
birth implied, or any work of conviction and operation 
of the Holy Spirit on their hearts, they could tell 
nothing, for they seemed to know nothing. But here 
I would be understood. I did not talk with all the 

CHAP, xxin.] CO. OF KERRY. 355 

converts of Dingle, and would not presume to say but 
that God has done a great work there ; if he has, man 
cannot overthrow it; if he has not, man cannot 
support even what they seem to have. But this is 
certain, they have the unadulterated Word of God ; 
and if they cannot read it, they hear it, and some seed 
may be sown on good ground, and bear fruit. I visited 
the Protestant and national school in Dingle; the 
infant school was under good regulations ; the national 
school in so boisterous a state, that, with knocking and 
calling, we could not be heard, and were obliged to go 
aloft into the second room, and there things seemed 
but a little improved. We had some specimens of 
grammar and geography from the noisy urchins, which 
would puzzle the most learned of any language to 
define, and we went out with a rabble of boys in 
pursuit, calling out, " American ! American 1*' till we 
reached our homes. 

Our next excursion was to Ventry, Here is a 
colony of the new converts, with a clergyman at their 
head, who was once a Catholic priest. A pretty little 
village, and everything about it more inviting than 
otherwise. We visited the Protestant school, and here 
found a young lady teaching a class of promising 
young misses ; but when we inquired if they were 
studying geography, as we saw maps hanging in the 
lower end of the room, the answer surprised my 

Protestant friend, Mrs. J . " The maps are for 

the boys ; these are the daughters of the lower order, 
and we do not advance them." " But have they not 
talents to be cultivated ? and is not this a professedly 
Christian school, instituted by missionaries ?" " It is," 
she answered ; " but I must do as I am bidden. They 
are poor, and must be educated according to their 
Station.-' Again I enforced the obligation imposed on 
us by Christ, to " occupy till he come.*' She did not 
understand me ; and though she belonged to the Pro- 
testant Church, I could not see that her dark under- 
standing had ever been enlightened by the Spirit of 
God, or that she was any more capable of teaching 

356 CO. OF KERRY. [chap. xxm. 

spiritual things than the Catholics about her whom 
she viewed as being so dark. We visited a few 
converts in the cabins, and I was afterwards cautioned 
not to go there again, as the clergymen had given them 
notice that they must not receive me into their houses.* 

The next day we visited a school of the nuns. Here 
were more than three hundred of the poor, taught in 
the most thorough manner. Their lessons in grammar, 
geography, and history would do honor to any school, 
and their needle-work was of the highest order. The 
teacher observed, " Though they are the children of 
the poor, we do not know what station God may call 
them to fill. We advance them as far as possible 
while they are with us. The Protestants," she added, 
" do not teach the poor anjrthing but reading, writing, 
and arithmetic." 

" What a rebuke," said my friend, « is this on the 
practice of Bible Christians ! Here is a nun spending 
her whole life in teaching the poor, without any com- 
pensation, and saying, * We don't know what station 
God may want them to fill, and we advance them as 
far as we can.' " Three nuns were giving their whole 
time in this school. 

The bay and mountains about Dingle are objects of 
considerable interest. Connor Hill, upon which a road 
is made through a rock which hangs frightfully over 
the head of the traveller, and the steep descent to a 
lake, are grand objects. The government has certainly 
given incontestible proof that rocks, mountains, and 
water are no effectual impediments to making good 
roads in Ireland. Why can it not surmount the rocky 
difficulties of the people, cut them through, give them 
a tolerable place among the children of men, and 
enable them to walk forth over these roads, not as 
beasts of burden, clothed in rags, but like men made 

* This did not offend me, neither do I blame him. I men- 
tion it only as one manifestation of the watchful jealousy 
maintained by different parties to keep both their creed and 
character from contamination. 

CHAP, xxra.] CO. OF KERRY. 357 

in God's image, enjoying the blessings which are 
made for all, and should be possessed by all ? 

We attempted to ascend Connor Hill by a circular 
route, but the higher we ascended, the more the 
distance seemed to increase, and we sat down under a 
passing cloud, which so enveloped us, that, though in 
the morning, it appeared quite like gathering evening, 
and the cold was very severe. I was glad to get 
away, for a pressure upon the chest made me feel a 
difficulty in breathing. We returned home, and 
passed an immense pile of stones, which had been ga- 
thered by passing travellers, who always added one to 
the heap, in commemoration of a young man who died 
on that spot when going out for America. Silly as 
was the superstition, I added one to the mountain. 

We visited " Nancy Brown's Parlor." This is a 
rock projecting into the sea, with a seat upon it like 
a settee ; a romantic spot. At the left is a deep dark ca- 
vern of water, running under the precipice, which fills 
the mind with wonder and sublimity. The morning 
was propitious, and below us upon the strand might 
be seen women, some with jugs, and some with sea- 
weed, children picking shells, and not the least in- 
teresting were the busy sea-gulls, hopping from rock 
to rock, or alighting upon the water, in pairs. One 
couple, who had stood upon a craggy rock talking in 
the most affable manner, amused us by a piece of gal- 
lantry, as we supposed of the gentleman, which would 
do honor to any man living in like circumstances. 
They had sat talking for some time, when a surging 
wave dashed over them and concealed them from our 
sight ; they appeared again as the wave retired, in the 
same position, when the adventurous Miss gracefully 
sailed away, and seated herself upon a rock in the 
water at a distance, losing back to the mate she had 
left, who for a time sat unmoved as if saying, " you 
have rudely left me, and I will not follow you." 
But in a little time he was at her side, and they com- 
menced a close chat, and then they both gracefully 
sailed back to the rock they had left. We could not 

I . _ 

' r 

358 CO. OF KERRY. [chap, xxm 

tell whether he was gently chiding her for leaving him 
to venture farther into the deep, or whether he wa 
congratulating her on her dexterity in keeping he: 
footing, when the foaming wave dashed so furiouslj 
over her white wing. It was a pretty sight. 

When returning, we met a peasant girl, with he: 
dress turned over her head, who in the most earnes 
manner spoke in Irish, and beckoned us to go farther 
We declined, and she changed her laughing look fo 
one of pitiful endearing disappointment, which pre 
vailed with me, and I said, " We will go." She exult 
ingly bounded away, leading us forward, looking bad 
to encourage us, for the way was precipitous an< 
somewhat difficult, till she placed us upon an awfull; 
grand precipice. Here she stopped, and, in the mos 
animated manner, pointed us down, then to a moun 
tain across the channel, then to the golden stripe 
of the sun upon the water, then to the sea-gulls, thei 
to the eastern sky, which was extremely beautiful 
and when she saw we understood and were pleased 
she was delighted. Had she been a well-educate< 
girl, she could not have displayed more taste for tb 
sublime and beautiful. She was pretty in look an< 
graceful in manner, and when we parted, and saw he 
entering the mud wall cabin, a companion of pigs 
with no employment but feeding them and milking i 
goat, or gathering turf from some bog, we said, what i 
pity that such an intellect should be lost, and wb 
must account for all this waste ? What a pity tha 
government or aristocratic pride should place barrier 
to the improvement of the talented poor. In no civi 
lized nation, probably, is there more waste of min< 
than in Ireland. Should any dispute this, let him visi 
the county of Kerry. The wild children there amohi 
the mountains, who spend their time in herding catth 
often show the quickest perception of all that is lovel 
in nature, and will answer your questions with a clear 
ness that would do honor to a refined people. 

Saturday i April \2th.' — Made an excursion whic 
will long be remembered, in company with Mrs. S 

CHAP, xxin.] CO. OF KERRY. 359 

(the woman who first introduced me to the priest, and 
to the family who so kindly entertained me,) and the. 
two Miss Jacksons, and little Thomas the brother. 
We were supplied with a basket of bread and meat 
for the dinner, and bound for Dunquin. The kind 
loquacious Mrs. S. had a favorite priest to whom she 
wished to introduce me on the way. An old church, 
and some Ogham stones which had long puzzled anti- 
quarians, must first be seen, and then we were ushered 
in to see the priest. He was sitting by his fire, read- 
ing a newspaper, surrounded with Latin authors 
of various descriptions, and piles on piles of the most 
antiquated looking books in Hebrew, Greek, and 
Latin. He received us with the greatest kindness, 
and the most simple urbanity of manners, and never in 
Ireland had I spent an hour where so much real 
knowledge had fallen on my ear. He was truly a 
learned antiquary ; retired in that desolate part of the 
earth, buried in his musty books, he had gathered rich 
materials for thinking and conversation. He showed 
us printed volumes of more than two hundred years old, 
one a geography, one a dictionary, and a few histories. 
He urged us to stay and take some refreshment. He 
was old and infirm, but insisted on accompanying us to 
the gate, upon the top of the pillars of which were 
two cannon balls, which Cromwell had left in besieging 
the place. I felt regret at leaving this complaisant 
old man, for he united the benevolent gentleman witli 
the learned linguist and antiquary. I have since 
been told he is much esteemed by all classes. 

We proceeded across a strand, where the sand was 
so mellow that our poor horse could scarcely proceed, 
and, to make up the dreadfuls, one of our traces broke. 
Happily a rope was found, or we might have been left 
to wade through the sand and wet, but we dragged 
through half a mile, and found ourselves on firm foot- 
ing. Our next object was a tower near the top 
of Sybil Head, and after sitting down upon the beach 
and taking a hearty lunch, the young ladies and I pro- 
ceeded. The way was tedious, and the wind strong. 

360 CO. OF KKRRY. [chap, xxn 

but after much toiling and resting we reached th 

The tower was erected for a telegraph, and wa 
going to decay. Supposing this was the only objec 
of curiosity, I felt a little disappointed. Leaving th 
young ladies in the tower, I ascended the mountaii 
which appeared at the top a sharp ridge like the roc 
of a house. 1 was just about taking the last ste 
to gain the height, and then call out that I was on th 
loftiest peak of Sybil Head, when a little unobserve 
shepherd-girl called out, " Ye'U be destroyed ! Loot 
look!" I looked, and started back with horror. 1 
precipice overlooking the sea many hundred feet beloTi 
presented itself, a wall secured a little part, and thei 
a shelving rock, bending over the waves, which wer 
dashing and roaring with awful grandeur. I hear 
the roaring, but supposed it was the sea we had lef 
at the foot of the mountain, and but for the littl 
shepherd-girl should doubtless have stepped over int 
the awful abyss. Children, it seemed, were peculiar! 
my guardian angels in Ireland ; three times they hav 
saved me from immediate destruction by their car 
and kindness. The rocks upon a part of this ridge ar 
like an inclined plane put there by the Great Archi 
tect, and form a good security to the cautious. M 
young companions placed themselves in a condition t 
look over, lying down, while I held their feet; on 
hasty peep was all I ventured, it was enough, j 
young lad and two girls were tending cattle on thi 
awful brow, sheep were grazing upon the brink, an 
little girls spent the live long day sporting near il 
very edge, as unconscious of danger as the bird thf 
flies over them. 

O those sweet shepherd children ! Every where o 
the coast I found them, and every where I found thei 
kind and simple-hearted, knowing nothing of the coi 
taminating influences of cities, and gentle as the shee 
they are tending. Often have I seen them sitting c 
the brow of some hill, or on a rock, their silken ha 
waving in the breeze, their feet naked, a stick in or 

CHAP, xxin.] CO. OF KERRY. 361 

hand, and sometimes a leaf of a book in the other, and 
1 blessed the Father of all mercies that he had left in 
one island of the sea, a people who still retain the 
simple life and simple manners of patriarchal days. 
From the sheep-fold was the sweet psalmist of Israel 
taken to be king, and in that humble employment was 
his heart moulded to all those soft touches, which 
so move the soul in his psalms. 

When I looked on these Kerry girls, I thought, shall 
I pity such loveliness? Shall I wish to tear you 
away to pent-up cities, to cramp your minds to fashion's 
moulds, when here Nature in all her forms and freaks, 
both beautiful and sublime, is before you ? The moun- 
tain breeze is ever fanning their dark hair, they know 
nothing, they heed nothing of the vain show of the 
world, but are content, when at night they have 
herded their flock, to lie down in their cabin till the 
early dawn shall again summon them to the mountains. 
We asked one of these little girls, who was sitting upon 
the very edge of the precipice, if she had no fear. 
" Not any, miss," was the answer. I was glad to leave 
it, yet I could not but look upon what we had left as the 
most awfully grand spot I had ever visited. 

When we reached our car, our company were 
patiently waiting, but to my awful disappointment told 
me there was not time to visit Dunquin, and Mrs. S., 
who seemed to be the heroine in all this day's ma- 
noeuvering, told me she had never heard of it before. 
I have found some fault with others in this work, and 
have recorded some of their misdoings, and am not so 
vain as to suppose I have passed through the length 
and breadth of Ireland, and not done some things and 
said some things out of time and season. Now here I 
made a little mistake, and am happy to acknowledge 
it as publicly as I mention the mistakes of others. This 
woman had a kind heart, and had manifested as much 
of it towards me as a poor woman could dp ; she had 
taken much pleasant trouble to arrange affairs for this 
trip, she had waited patiently upon the beach while we 
were exploring wonders above her, and when we camo 



36-2 CO. OF KERRY. [chap, xxi 

down, was in readiness to go home. When I me 
tioned Dunquin, her surprise appeared to me like re 
intrigue. I thought she could not but know tt 
it was the object of my journey, and I told her so 
language which she understood and felt. I hate d 
ceit, and thought here was full proof. The time, t( 
I could not think was so far spent ; but here she was 
the right, and had I taken my own course, and p€ 
suaded the driver to take us the perilous route, whi< 
was nine miles, it would have been a frightful expec 
tion indeed. But we were saved in spite of my det€ 
mination to the contrary. 

So much for disappointment, and hatred of dece 
and so much for not feasting my eyes on Dunqui 
which had been a most ardent desire of my hea 
But Dingle must be left. My stay had been a loi 
one, and notwithstanding that all the good people the 
did not understand what kind of religion one mu 
possess, to be concerned about any party but one's ow 
and that self-denial is neither to be required or expect 
1 800 years after the pattern was set in the church- 
that the world is constantly improving, and the chur 
must keep pace with it or lose her respectability — y 
there were a few that received Christ's legacy with j 
its tribulations. With these few I had passed prof 
able hours, and from these few I regretted to pa; 
But the morning came, when the car must go out 
Tralee. Mrs. Jackson was early preparing me refres 
ments for my journey, and by the middle of the day 
was in Tralee, and staid long enough to write a no 
to my friend Mr. Walpole, which I presume was n 
so palatable as another three shillings would ha^ 
been. My next car that day took me to Tarbert ; sta 
at a hotel ; the price was exorbitant, and when 
expressed my surprise to the woman, saying no oth 
hotel in Ireland was so high, her answer was certain 
a candid honest one, " I intend to make all I can o 
of every one that comes here, and if I can mal 
a shilling out of you, I will." 

A walk around the bay gave a beautiful vie 


of this ancient place. The promontory on which the 
light-house stands, with a few tasty buildings, was 
a fairy spot. I was shown the remains of old forts, 
which a gentleman standing by said were built by the 
Danes, who once figured here to great advantage, till 
driven out by the spirited Irish. Sending my baggage 
to the steam-boat, I walked three miles on the borders 
of the Shannon, to see the beauties of the country, and 
the Knight of Kerry's demesne, which like all the 
demesnes in Ireland is more proud than humble. 


Sail up the Shannon to Limerick— Poorhouse Stirabout— 
Sleepless Night at Ennis— Town without Bread— Grievous 
Ignorance — True Delivery of my one-armed Charioteer — 
fiisket of Bones — My Carpet-bag ransacked — Learned 
Schoolmaster- Exchange of Compliments — Red Petticoats — 
Old Pedlar and his daughter— Temple of Nature— The back 
of the Barracks— Marble Quarry— Completely Watersoaked 
— Connemara Hospitality — Bundles of Straw — Sabbath in 
the Mountain Cabin. 

I took my seat in the steam packet as a deck pas- 
senger, which in Ireland is synonymous with a corner 
in a Christian church in America for colored people. 
Here I found a multitude of well-dressed and ill- 
dressed, informed and uninformed, many of them going 
to take passage for America. The sail on this noble 
river, the Mississippi of Ireland, was pleasant, and the 
city of Limerick one of business and beauty. I found 
a neat inviting lodging-house, kept by a well-bred 
woman from Dublin 5 and so pleasant was my stay here, 
I regretted leaving the city. The town did not appear 
so poverty-stricken as many ; the people looked intel- 
ligent, and the activity reminded me a little of busy 
New York. I perambulated the town, and enquired 
of cobblers and tinkers what was this, and what was 
that. One explained to me all the wonders he knew 
of the ancient cathedral, where hung on one end tlie 


364 CO. OF CLARE. [chap, xn 

cannon balls which were taken from it in Cromwel 

wars. It is now used for a military school, and a Pr 

testant place of worship. The city is three miles : 

circumference ; and but one gate, called the Wat 

Gate of St. John's Castle, is now standing of thesevei 

teen which were there in l/CO. I found a labourii 

man near the pcRor-house, who told me there were 1 7( 

inmates, and << I don't know what to say of the stir 

bout there they give 'em." " And what, sir, is tl 

matter with the stirabout ?" " Why, by dad, ma'ai 

'twould give a man waik quawrters to ait it. They ss 

it runs like wawter." This I found was the univers 

cry of all the beggars throughout Ireland, when told 

go to the poor-house, <' The stirabout is so waik, th 

'twould take the life of ye." My stay in Limerick w; 

too short, though I saw the whole town and its ou 

ward curiosities. The people was what I wanted to se 

, At three I took a car for Ennis, an ancient town goii 

i to decay. Clare Castle, standing a little distance fro 

* the town, now the abode of soldiers, makes a pret 

appearance at the bridge upon the bank of the riv< 

Here too are the remains of a Franciscan monastei 

and you are told of a great battle fought here in 12£ 

! The coachman said he would take me to suit 

' ble lodgings, and these lodgings were his own hout 

His wife told me I must sleep with her if I stoppe 

' It was dark, and I was shown into a chamber whe 

were three beds, and finding a child in the filthy o 

prepared for me, I wrapped my cloak about me a 

lay across the foot. At two o'clock the family cai 

into the chamber, and were soon snoring about n 

' while I kept vigil through the whole night. 

Sabbath, Mr. Murphy preached a most solemn a 
mon on the judgment, and pointedly applied it to 
classes, especially the rich, who bring up their ch 
i dren for this world. The building had once the fin< 

gothic aisles that ever adorned a church in Irelai 
Went again in the evening, and heard a second s* 
mon from the same man, and wandered about the to^ 
till darkness warned me to return. But the lodgii 


I had not slept a moment in Ennis, and I enquired if 
my room was the same ? " Where you slept last night," 
was the answer. Determining that my bed should be 
changed, even if it were for the worse, I went out, and 
from house to house made diligent search. The army 
was going through the town, and lodging-places were 
taken up. A woman interested herself, and after 
many fruitless applications she hit upon an expedient. 
" Good luck to ye, I have it ! a ginteel woman lodgin* 
with me will give ye a part of her bed, and she's a 
lady that wouldn't disgrace any body in the kingdom. 
Here, miss, I've brought a fine lady from America, 
who wants a lodgin', and sure ye wouldn't refuse her 
half of yer bed. She's alone, a stranger, and ye know 
it isn't for the money I would take her." The miss 
gave a sideways- glance. " And 'tisn't every stranger 
I'd be takin' into my bed ; and how came ye without a 
lodgin' so late at night ?" This was all sterling sense, 
and telling her how I come in this plight, she changed 
her tune, and bade me welcome. But I made only a 
sorry change with regard to comfort, though not so many 
ehums in my room. Paid three pence for my lodging, 
and took the car for Gort, and reached it at ten 

Here I went from street to street, and almost from 
door to door, tor find a roll of bread and a cup of cocoa. 
There seemed to be nothing to eat, and twice when I 
asked for bread, the answer was, " The people of Gort 
don't eat, ma'am ; we have no bread." I knew not 
what to say, or what to do ; at last 1 found a few small 
loaves, and took a penny's worth, and left the town to 
walk to Oranmore, a distance of fourteen miles. Gort 
is a neat little town, pleasantly situated, but the an- 
swer to the question, " How are you getting along in 
Gort?" was, "The same as every where. Badly entirely, 
ma'am ; Gort is a poor little town : the poor gets no 
labor, thank God." 

The day was unusually warm for April, the sun 
scorching, and my feet sore : I often found occasion to 
call at a cabin to rest. One woman was standing at 



[chap, xxr 

a comer, waiting my approach, and called out, " Goo 
morrow, ma'am ; ye look wairy, come in and rest y 
a bit." The simple manners of these unsophisticate 
peasantry are so much like the patriarchs of old, tha 
in spite of their untidiness, they cannot but be intei 
esting to every lover of antiquity. " An' would y 
take a sup of milk ?" Telling her I never used i 
" What can I get ye ? I have no bread." I thanke 
her, and could only satisfy her by saying that I ha 
just been eating some. She then sat down t 
admire my " comely dress f a little boy came ii 
and she asked him who I was. '< A lady, ma'am. 
"See how quick he answers; he knows ye ar 
a lady, because ye're clane and proper." The ig 
norance of this woman was painful ; she seemed t 
know nothing beyond her own cabin. Seeing that sh 
wanted a pin, I gave her a couple of rows ; the pape 
was red, and she admired it with great wonder. J 
son of twenty came in, and she immediately presente 
the paper to him. They both held it up, and endea 
voured to look through it, and both seemed delighte< 
at the novel sight. I was really unhappy at seeinj 
these innocent kind-hearted creatures of want, dyin^ 
for lack of knowledge. Yes, dead as to anything ap 
pertaining to this life, for they had no comforts fo 
the body, and they lived neglected, and apparentl; 
knew little else but what instinct dictated. Passinj 
on, I reached the hospitable house of Oranmore, wher 
I stopped in November, and was received with th 
kindest greetings, and kept without expense. Th^ 
Connemara girl had long been gone, but no othe 
changes had taken place. 

A night's rest refreshed all but my feet, and I at 
tempted a walk to Galway, as I had sent on my carpe 
bag, and felt a little uneasy. The distance was bu 
four and a-half miles, but my feet soon became Si 
painful, that it seemed quite impossible to proceed. A] 
old woman saluted me, " An' ye'll be kilt with walkin 
an* wouldn't ye ride for sixpence ? I know a poo 
man who keeps a little ass, that would gladly take y< 



for that." She took me to a hovel, and called out, 
" Here, John, wouldn't ye take a lady to Galway for 
sixpence ?** " And that I would," said John, jump- 
ing out of bed. It was eight o'clock ; the children 
were preparing for school, and though ragged they 
were not dirty. There were five of them, all with 
black hair and eyes, and the mother was a comely well- 
bred woman. The man had but one arm, and no 
means of support but by his cart and ass. In a few 
moments all was ready. I insisted that he should stop 
and eat his potato, though I saw none preparing. I 
found afterwards he had none, and no prospect of any 
till the sixpence should be earned. It was a touching 
case of uncomplaining want. When we were going 
away, the woman said, " Maybe the lady hasn't got the 
change now." Taking the hint that she wanted the 
sixpence, I said, " Yes." But the poor man's sensi- 
tiveness was awakened, and he hurried me away with, 
" Never mind — never mind," which made me anxious 
to hear his history. He had been a herder, with twenty- 
five pounds a year, and brought a swelling on his arm 
by lifting, which after twelve months of suffering 
ended in amputation. He lost his employment, and 
could do nothing but drive about that little ass and 
cart. " A kind gentlewoman, ma'am, was all my hope 
for many a year, who called on me to go on an errand 
to fetch a bucket of water, and never give me less 
than a shillin* ; and many a sorry day since I knew not 
where to git the potato. But God is good." 

We were now joined by a woman who had walked 
from Gort to Oranmore the evening previous after four 
o'clock, and was now, with a burden on her back, 
going to Galway. She said she was forty-seven, the 
mother of nineteen children, and but three of them 
alive ; the youngest that died was two years old. Gay 
and cheerful, " light of foot," she was quite an inter- 
resting object. We were soon joined by an old wo- 
man, who was sitting upon a wall, with a basket upon 
her back, which caused my coachman to quicken his 
speed, declaring, " the same that she carried in her 

368 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxiv. 

basket was enough to give us all the plague, and I'll 
not be her company," whipping the poor ass, while the 
old woman was determined not to be outdone — ^the 
American lady she must see. The first good wo- 
man was quite annoyed, and begged her to keep a 
little off. " What," 1 enquired, " are the contents of 
the basket ?" "A dead horse's bones, which she's a 
goin' to sell, ma'am." This was to me a new, de- 
grading, and humiliating mode of earning bread, 
which I never could have thought woman would 
be compelled to undertake. Three well-dressed young 
ladies mingled in the group, for they had a cu- 
riosity to get a glimpse of the American, and accosted 
me quite pleasantly, not in the least regarding what 
company was about them. But the man, by jerks and 
blows, succeeded in leaving the bones in the rear be-< 
fore we reached town. 

What subjects for contemplation has this morning 
presented ! The humble clean family ; the uncom- 
plaining children going out to school without any 
breakfast ; the suffering man still retaining a sense of 
honour in refusing the money, and a sense of propriety 
in escaping from the woman and basket ; the sad state 
to which a country must be reduced, when the cheap- 
est article of food could not be purchased by the poor 
in a season of plenty, sufficient to make them comfort- 
able ; and where woman is made to be anything but 
what God ordained or fitted her to be, the dishonour 
instead of the " glory of man." 

I gave the poor man a few pennies more than the 
sixpence, and this so affected him, that I was glad 
when he bade " God speed," and hastened to buy his 
potatoes. Was it ever so with any people ? And will 
God always see the poor man's want, and not relieve 
him. If the cries of Ireland do not reach his ears, 
their patience surely must, and he will come in judg- 
ment or mercy to their aid. 

I called at my old lodgings, was welcomed, and- 
learned that the asthmatic mother had gone down to 
the grave, and that comfortable lodgings could be given 


without taking a room with ** John." I first hastened 
to the car-office to make arrangements for Clifden, 
and there found my carpet bag upon the floor in the 
corner broken open, and the articles lying in frag- 
ments about it. I enquired the cause of the agent, who 
insolently answered, " Your things are all there. An 
officer s wife said she had examined them, and found 
the value was not much, and she had left them as she 
found them ; but I must have an additional shilling 
for my trouble, or the luggage shall not leave the office." 
I asked him whether as a stranger I had merited such 
treatment. He cared nothing, he said, for strangers, nor 
anything for Americans. Offering him a sovereign to 
change, "he should change it when he knew the 
weight, but should not trust to my honesty." The so- 
vereign was weighed, and proved to be more than 
weight. He took the shilling, and asked my name to 
enter on the book. I declined, and told him I should 
have no more to do with Bianconi's cars. That I had 
paid him considerable, and this was not the first time 
that I had been treated rudely and unkindly by his 

" I am quite sorry, ma'am. I should be glad of your 
money, and you will wear yourself out by walking." 
Telling him that would be my misfortune, I passed out, 
found the one-armed man, and agreed with him to take 
me fourteen miles for two shillings. His price was a 
shilling a day, and he could perform this journey in a 
day. He went home, and 1 to my lodgings, and early 
in the morning was prepared for the ride, but no man 
appeared. I took my parasol, leaving my luggage, and 
went on, hoping the old man might soon follow. The 
wife of a poor curate soon joined me, with two fine 
boys, a book and a rattan, going on a two miles' ex- 
cursion for exercise and air, and gave me as much 
talk as I could reasonably ask concerning religious 
societies in Galway. She deplored greatly the delu- 
sions of Romanism, but the divisions among Protestants 
she thought were more to be regretted than all. Her 
husband she said was a spiritual indefatigable laborer 


370 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxiv. 

in the cause of Christ, and had lost a promised promo- 
tion from the bishop, because he had sought to obey a 
higher Master than an earthly one. My next call was 
to the house of a very civil shoe-maker, whose wife 
showed me every attention, and conducted me into the 
National school, where I heard better specimen than 
usual of reading and grammar, and what is quite 
noticeable in all schools, a knowledge of arithmetic be- 
yond the years of children in other countries. My 
best wishes for the success of public schools in Ire- 
laud, for the more I see of them, the more do I 
expect that great good will be the result. I passed 
two other schools that day, but was not in time for 

The last four miles of my journey I had the company 
of a police officer. I have invariably found these men 
civil and sober, and a great blessing to Ireland as she 
now is. 

My place of stopping was Outerard. A clean house 
and hospitable woman gave me a pleasant evening. 
The town is a tidy one in outward looks, and is some- 
what celebrated for having a mineral well, and a sal- 
mon-leap in the river. A bathing^house is made in a 
rock of curious construction, and a cottage of such 
beautiful finish that it is an ornament to the town, and 
a standing monument of the correct taste of the doctor 
who designed it. The family refused any compensa- 
tion, sending me away with the kindest wishes, and I 
turned into a house where were huddled a group 
of boys and girls. Certainly if there is any skiU 
in packing lumber, they had acquired it, and any merit 
in a desire for instruction, they deserve it. When 
I entered, the " master skilled to rule " was standing, 
one foot upon a chair, his elbow resting upon his 
knee, spectacles across his nose, a pen in his hand, 
which he was mending, ever and anon flourishing it, 
as he vehemently expatiated on some clause in the 
lesson he was explaining. He bowed long and low to 
me, and then spoke in Latin to a boy who answered 
in the same language. Then turning to a bevy in a 


dark comer, who were urging their rights by hunches 
and threats, he told them that the wandering Arab in 
the great desert of Sahara, or the Siberian at the 
frozen regions of the north, could as well understand 
the meaning of civility as they ; and should he enjoin 
taciturnity, (though that was too refined a word for 
such boors, as he had before him,) they would as 
readily obey him. 

"I have done much, honored lady, for these lads 
before you, and to say the truth they are the first fel- 
lows in the kingdom. Come here ; let's hear you con- 
jugate this verb/' Before the boy had half run 
through, " There, lady, what do you think of my man- 
ner of teaching ?" " It cannot be disputed, sir." " I 
ought to be promoted for what I have done. Go on, 
honey, and tell the whys and wherefores. And so 
you see, lady, no stone's unturned." I assured him I 
had seen nothing like it in all Ireland. " Hear, hear, 
my good fellows I Here's a lady of the first order 
speakking, and mark what she says. I knew when she 
entered, by her looks and language, she was a lady of 
the highest order. Now mark !" 

** Full well they laughed, and counterfeited glee." 

Hear, hear ! I made a speech somewhat in keeping 
with the place and persons, and had I never before felt 
mj own greatness, now was the favorable moment. 
A long and low bow, ended by two or three short ones 
and a hearty good-bye on my part, finished the morning 

My journey lay through a wild mountainous country, 
and the red petticoats scattered here and there upon 
hill and lake side gave a romantic touch to the strange 
scenery for many a mile. A walk of six miles called 
for rest and a little soap for my blistered feet, and 
turning into a cabin upon the top of a hill, I heard read- 
ing as I entered the door. The woman of the house 
was sitting with an infant on her lap, reading to 
a friend who had entered, and I soon perceived 
she had a cultivated mind, lliough her lot was cast in 

372 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxit. 

that desert. She was a Protestant, and said, *^jon 
have no idea of the dreadful condition we are in npon 
these mountains. No school, and scarcely a book, and 
seven miles from any church." I promised, if I passed 
that way on my return, to spend a night with her, and 
bring her some books. I now felt the want of my 
luggage. An old man and his daughter entered 
with each a heavy burden, which they tried to lighten 
at every cabin upon the mountains. They were dealers 
in dry goods. " I hope,** said the intelligent woman, 
" you will keep the company of these worthy people 
across the mountain." 1 had not walked far when a 
cough behind caused me to turn about, and the girl 
said, '< Ye are quick on the fut, and I feared we should 
not gain upon ye." The father soon joined us, and 
after a "God save ye kindly, we're all travellers 
together," he added, **I rair'd the little gal yonder, 
and a blackguard of a fellow kept his eye on her for a 
twelvemonth, till by her consent and mine he married 
her, stopped with her one month, took the few pounds 
she had gained by dailin', and went away, the villain, 
and set up the business, and has never put the two eyes 
on her sence." 

We were all fatigued, our feet blistered, and we sat 
down upon a bank of one of the beautiful lakes 
which are dotting this wild mountain- scenery for many 
a mile. Having my Testament in my hand, <^ye have 
a nice little book," said the old man. " Shall I read a 
little," I asked. "Plaise God, ye will," was the 
answer. I opened at the 14th of John, and read* 
" Where," said the daughter, " did you get that beauti- 
ful book ?" " It sounds," said the father, « like our 
Catholic raidin', and what the priest has told us from the 
altar." They had heard portions of the Scripture, but 
did not know that this was the Word of God till I told 
them. The daughter took it in her hand, turned over 
the leaves, read a few portions intelligibly, and asked, 
*' Where could I get one ? Would you sell me this ?" 
I promised one from my basket, should it reach Clif - 
den while she was there. The old man clasped his 


hands, raised his eyes, blessed the good God that he 
had met such a lady, and such blessed words which 
" melt the heart." It was a pleasant hour. We need- 
ed no cushioned desk nor fringed drapery, to adorn 
our pulpit. We wanted no lighted gas to enable us to 
read our prayers from gilt edged books. The chande- 
lier of day was hanging out in heaven's high dome, 
and the pure waters of the lake were sparkling in its 
beams. Our temple was a lofty one, and as we sat to- 
gether within its broad portals, we read the sweet and 
condescending words, " Let not your heart be troubled." 
" In my father's house are many mansions." " Yes," 
ejaculated the old man, << blessed be his holy name, 
there are many mansions." I then felt that God was 
truly a Spirit, and could be worshipped on the 
mountain top or lowly valley, and needed no temple 
made with hands. 

" Must we go ?" I asked, as the book was closed, 
" and leave this heavenly place ?" " Plaise God, we 
must," the old man answered. Our walk was ten miles 
upon the top of a mountain spotted with lakes. The 
old man became fatigued, and they stopped as the sun 
was setting, at a miserable looking lodging-house for 
the night, leaving a three miles' walk for me alone, 
with weary feet, before I could find " a dacent house 
for a body like me." The daughter, to encourage me, 
told me one of the " good lies" which so much abound, 
that it was " but a short mile under yer fut." Dark- 
ness soon came over me, and no smoke of a cabin 
cheered my eye. I sat down upon a little hillock, and 
again looked over the scenes I had passed, and thanked 
God that I was in Ireland, and that I had met the 
old man on the mountain, and hoped he would rest his 
weary old limbs, though I might not find a shelter. I 
heard a footstep, and as it approached, enquired if the 
lodging-house of the mountain was near. " A perch 
or two under yer fut, and ye are in it." I went on ; 
as I reached the door I heard laughing, music, and 
dancing. It was a barrack ; and a piper, with more 
whiskey than good sense in his brain, was blowing 

374 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxiv. 

with all his might for the harefooted girls and merry 
lads, who were in the highest glee. *< Is this a lodg- 
ing house ?" I enquired. <' Go back, and 70U will find 
it." I stumbled mj way back of the barracks, and 
opened a door, and a tidy looking woman received me 
very coldly by saying, " We never turn people out of 
doors. But why are you here so late ? Why didn't 
you stop back ? Are you travelling alone ?* By this 
time my patience was departing, and I answered, << Do 
you keep lodgers ? and can you keep me ?" " We 
never turns folks out of doors." << I do not suppose 
you turn people out of doors, if you put out a sign to 
ask them in." The master heard this, stepped into 
the room, and quite in Irish mood bade me welcome, 
though he was an Englishman. '' Sit down, and make 
yourself as comfortable as you cau. We will do as 
well as we can for you." A clean bed was provided ; 
two others, well filled, were my companions, but never 
was rest more refreshing. The next day was rainy, 
and I employed my time reading, writing, and listen- 
ing to the music of two fiddlers, who told me they were 
employed by gentlemen to amuse them at their houses. 
So fond are the Irish of music, that, in some form or 
other, they must and will have it. A piper entered 
on a wooden leg, and called for a glass of whiskey, 
which the daughter gave him, and feeling a little jea- 
lous lest the fiddlers might be thought more than rivals, 
he gave such proofs of dexterity as put all to silence. 
" We live so remote," said the man, " that these little 
droppings now and then on a rainy day make the time 
pass very pleasantly. In fact, I don't know how we 
should get along without them. It's nature, you see," 
holding a granddaughter of eight months' old upon the 
floor to see her dance. " You see, ma'am, they'll dance 
before they can walk." 

The next morning the inn-keeper took me to see a 
marble quarry in the mountains, which he had ex- 
plored ; the rain beat us cruelly, but we proceeded. 
The slabs were beautifully variegated with green, 
brown, and black. This quarry was opened, and then 


stopped, the owner not accepting the offer of seven 
pounds a ton by Government. The quarry is immense, 
and thousands of men might find employment if they 
would be allowed to work. These mountains aboimd 
in the richest minerals. This man has spent much 
time in exploring and analysing their properties, and 
has found copper and some other ore. Yet rich as 
Ireland is in all that might make her a bright gem 
indeed among all the nations, her Government gives 
her arts and manufactures but little encouragement. 

The sun looked out long enough for me to put all in 
readiness for departure, and when I had proceeded 
about a mile, the wind increased almost to a tornado^ 
and the rain seemed to have cleared out all her pipes, 
and was pouring forth torrents fresh and clean. I was 
now in a woeful plight — my parasol, which had with- 
stood many a buffeting, soon turned inside out, and 
became a wreck. No cabin was near till I was 
drenched. At last a miserable one met my eye, and 
going in, I was welcomed by two young women, and a 
young man, who was a traveller too, and inquired, 
" Where did ye come from, that ye are out in this 
stawrm?" Telling him, and that it was fine when I left, 
he said, " Aw, he's a blackguard and a rascal to let ye 
from his door to-day. He knew it would be stawrmy, 
an' he's a honey tongue, but his wife is a sour heifer 5 
and wasn't ye a payin' the blackguard, that he was so 
willin' to let ye come ?" " I was paying them full 
price for all I had." " They are divils then, and the 
divil '11 have 'em, and that's the end on't." I heard of 
Connemara — that it had been a custom from time imme- 
morial, that if a stranger is not welcomed into a cabin 
at night-fall, or leaves it in a storm, the cabin holder 
is immediately called upon to inquire into the reason ; 
and if it appears that it is inhospitality, that family is 
set up as a mark of contempt to its neighbours. 

The 6torm was increasing, and I could not stop, 
for the mud cabin was nearly as wet as the road ; the 
poor woman said, " If ye could stay, ye should not go 
out." After walking a few yards, the wind was more 

376 CO. OF GALWAT. [chap, xxiv- 

violent and the rain heavier. I turned mj back, and 
strove to ascend a hill in that way. In despair I stood; 
when looking to my left I saw at a distance a cabin, 
and a little girl standing in the door. She was gazing 
at me, as I supposed, from idle curiosity, and, as the 
last alternative, I hesitatingly turned towards the 
dreary abode. " Welcome, welcome, stranger, from the 
stawrm ; ye're destroyed. I told the little gal to open 
the door and stand in it, that ye mightn't think we 
was shuttin' ye out in the stawrm ; we've got a good 
fire and plenty of turf; and though the cabin is small, 
and not fittin' for sich a lady as ye, I'll make it better 
than the mad stawrm without ; and I'll soon heave over 
a pot of potatoes, and get ye a sup of milk, and I wish 
my wife was here. I'm but a stranger; but here 
sence Monday." All this passed before I had time to 
tell my country, pedigree, or business to Ireland. 
But when he heard all that, he was more anxious still 
to heap me with kindness. A huge pile of blazing 
turf soon dried my clothes, and I was sitting ** high 
and dry " by the side of the heels of a stage horse, who 
was taking his lunch from a pile of straw at the foot 
of a bed. In an hour the potatoes were ready, and 
the kind little girl brought me a broken soup-plate 
with two eggs on it, and a " sup of milk." The eggs 
I gave to a coachman who had dropped in to exchange 
horses, and took some salt and my tea-spoon, which I 
carried in my pocket ; and upon a stool by the side of 
the pot, on which a basket was placed containing the 
lumpers, I ate my supper with the family and coach* 
man, not only with a cheerful, but a grateful heart. 

Night came, but what was to be my lodging ? The 
bed in the room was nothing but a pile of straw, with 
a dirty blanket and heavy woollen quilt over it ; but 
the horse, to my great delight, was removed by the 
coachman, leaving two good bundles of clean straw 
untouched. The father went out; a little son fell 
asleep, and I persuaded him to go to bed, the girl 
saying, « He musn't lie there ; father told us that we 
are to sit by the fire, and ye are to lie in the bed." I 


refused, telling her I should not do it ; but when the 
father came in, he told the son in anger, *< he'd break 
every bone in his body if he didn't go out of that." 
I at last prevailed on the father to allow him to remain, 
and told him I had an excellent bed in my eye. " An* 
sure it isn't the bundle of straw ; not a ha'porth of 
yer wet and wairy bones shall lie there to-night." I 
insisted that I greatly preferred it as a luxury, and 
finally took one bundle, removed the band, made a 
little opening, and placed it before the fire, put a 
second one at the bottom of the door, as the breach 
was large and the wind piercing ; and then with some 
loose handfuls stopped the crevices above and around, 
till all was quite snug. Then wrapping my coat closely 
about me, I lay down in as comfortable a nest, and 
slept as sweetly, as I ever had in America or Ireland. 
The fire died upon the hearth, and the cold awaken- 
ed me. The day was the Sabbath ; the storm had 
not in the least abated. I had my Testament, and 
spent the morning reading the crucifixion and resur- 
rection of the Saviour to the family. The father 
assured me that " he had never heard a ha'porth of it 
read before; we are as ignorant, good lady, as the 
goats upon the mountain. God help us !" A woman 
entered with a red petticoat turned over her head, and 
the man told her in Irish who I was, and that I had 
come to see the poor. She reached her hand, and said 
in Irish, " Then she is my sister." The little girl ex- 
plained, " She is a very religious body, and means you 
are her sister if you are religious." She was a moun- 
tain Connemara girl, but not a fac-simile of the one I 
met in Oranmore. She gave a hearty shake of the 
hand as she went out, telling the man she must come 
and see me again. The man said, " If ye could spake 
in Irish, ye could do good to these craturs, for they are 
as stupid as the marble -stone." One told me that they 
wore red petticoats to keep off the fairies ; " and this," 
he added, "they fully believe." While he was de- 
ploring their ignorance, his little son told him he had 
dreamed a bad dream. "Bless yourself, then, nine 

378 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxiv. 

times, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, when ye are goin' to sleep, and ye won't drame 
at alL" "Do you believe this?'* I asked. "I do, 
ma'am ; the priest told me so, and the priest must 
know." " The priest, sir, insulted you if he told you 
so ; it is all nonsense, and you should not listen to it." 
He shook his head at my incredulity, but said no 

The rain ceased, and I must go to the next lodging- 
house, about two miles. Asking the man if he could 
change half-a-crown, " For what ?" as I hesitated, " I 
will not change a half-crown, nor a shilling, nor a six- 
pence ; nor a ha'porth shall the childer take, for that 
blackguard bed ye laid yer wairy bones upon. If I 
had a half-crown, I would give it to let ye ride to 
Clifden." This was true Connemara hospitality, and I 
went out without leaving a farthing, where I had had 
value received, and should have felt it a great privilege 
to give them a little. 

I reached the lodging-house, and saw the good 
woman and all about her in unusual trim for the 
people in that mountain, ai|d felt much cheered at so 
neat and comfortable a looking place. " But we cannot 
entertain ye, because a daughter is to be married this 
evening." I then was more anxious to stop, for among 
all the varieties I had seen, I never had been present 
at an Irish wedding. I went to a second, was denied ; 
to a third, the answer here was, " She could not 
accommodate so dacent a body." Decent or not de- 
cent, I told her I must stay. The rain was beginning, 
and I could not reach Clifden that night, neither was 
I willing to be out so long on the Sabbath. At last 
she consented, and gave me a good fire, a piece of 
bread, and a plate of well cooked potatoes, which are 
always given without charge in every lodging-house 
where I stopped. The room where I lodged had 
potatoes cut for planting, which was the creditable 
reason why a " dacent body " should not be put in it. 



Clifden — Clifden Castle — Irish Holidays — Walk to Roundstone 
— Hardships of Irish Tenants — Three Guides pointing three 
different ways — Potatoes a Curse upon Ireland — A Rough 
and Weary road — Absence of Trees — An Aged Pilgrim — 
Grood Wishes — A Timely Supply— Judicious Advice — A 
Kind Curate — A Connemara School — Ascent of the Diamond 
Mountain, and Adventure by the Way — Tully — No Bread 
to be had in the Town — The Isle of Oma, and the Natives 
thereof— Change for the better in Connemara — ^Return to 

Monday morning, walked in the rain to Clifden. Was 
directed to a lodging place, and found an intelligent 
Protestant woman, who immediately brought me 
tea and toast, as she saw me wet and fatigued. The 
romantic town of Clifden presented a novel appearance, 
built as it is upon a hill in part. The picturesque 
Church stands on an eminence, looking trim and 
independent above its neighbors. 

Visited the Protestant school, taught bj a male and 
female teacher. The children are mostly Roman 
Catholics, and are partly clothed by the society, and 
are advanced to grammar and geography. Next I 
went to the national school, a great building gone to 
decay, the school kept by a widow for the paltry com- 
pensation of ten pounds a year. The boys had all 
withdrawn, and no interest whatever was taken in the 
school. Bishop M'Hale had prohibited the reading of 
those portions of scripture appertaining to the lessons ; 
and the teacher, though a Catholic, talked seriously of 
leaving the school on account of it. She is an intelli- 
gent woman, and at the time of her marriage had 
possessed a property of twelve thousand pounds, 
which her good husband had the art of spending in a 
few years. He is now dead, and she sits in a dilapi- 
dated school- room fifty- two weeks every year for a salary 

380 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxv. 

of ten pounds. I left the school, and ascended a difficult 
mountain to take a full survey of the town. It was a 
most picturesque view. Mountains of rocks on every 
hand, and the sea behind a little declivity ; the scat- 
tered buildings here and there among the wildness 
of the rocks about the village, make one feel 
transported back to days of chivalry, when all the 
superstitious legends were in full vogue, when fairies 
were plying their skill, and knights and chieftains were 
the men of renown. 

April 30tk I walked forth after a shower, scarcely 

knowing or caring whither. I followed a neat roman- 
tic path till a splendid stone gateway met my eye, and, 
quite contrary to monarchical etiquette, the entrance 
was open and free. I received a hearty welcome from 
the good natured keeper of the lodge, and an invitation 
to walk in and take a cup potato, << the best in all the 
world," she said. " Ye are welcome to go all over the 
grounds, no walls or gates preventing. And if the 
owner was at home, he would take ye through the 
castle." Her husband led me to the path, and left me 
to wander in the pleasure grounds where I pleased. A 
romantic pile of moss-covered rocks was the first object 
of curiosity. The roof was broken through, and 
water trickled from the rocks down to a channel under 
the stone-floor, which bears it silently away under 
ground. Recesses in the interior made this structure 
a still greater wonder, and seeing two laboring men, I 
enquired what it could be. " A grotto, ma'am. An' 
ye're a stranger from England, I s'pose." " No, sir, 
from America." ** From America ! America ! wel- 
come, thrice welcome. An' I see ye have the green 
badge of Ireland," alluding to my green coat, " and do 
ye know the shamrock ?" picking a sprig, and handing 
it to me ; " Ye are Ireland's friend, I know, and do ye 
think we shall ever get any good ? America is doin' 
much for us, an' we'll never fight for England." The 
chief speaker was white-headed, yet he expected to 
live to see Ireland have her rights. As they said. 


" God speed ye," I looked after these old men, and 
surely, 1 thought, it is true — 

" Hope springs eternal in the human breast. 
Ireland * never is, but always to be blest.' " 

Following the winding path, I soon found the castle, 
proud in height and architecture, embosomed in wood, 
without gate or wall. After surveying it on every side, 
I was more satisfied with all its plan than any I had seen ; 
for while it looked up in independent grandeur, it 
seemed to look down with a bland smile, and say to 
the humblest visitor, "I hope you are pleased." 
Going on through the wood, 1 entered a garden such 
as few domains could boast; tastefully laid out on 
mountain side and valley, without any enclosure, and 
gradually losing itself in woods among rivulets and 
cascades. The apple and lilac were in bloom, in the 
midst of these varied delights. Now appeared a fairy 
castle, a house with variegated pillars and open door, 
made of shells of the most delicate shades, arranged 
in stars and circles of beautiful workmanship. These 
showed exquisite taste in the designer, and must have 
been done with great cost and care. I found that a 
laboring peasant was the architect of this wonderful 
fabric, but he was. kept most religiously in his rank, 
laboring for eight pence a day. 

Not a spot in all Ireland had been to my liking so 
much as this, because it breathed such a republican air 
of liberty. Not a placard said, " No trespass ;" no 
surly porter followed to say, " My master allows no 
one about the place without a written pass." But here 
the visitor may sit, stand, or stroll, fanned by the 
breezes of summer with the sweet scent of every flower, 
and feel that all was made for his enjoyment. Leav- 
ing the enchantment, I went to the rocky shore, (for 
the ocean is dashing its waves in front of these de- 
lights,) gathered a few shells, and returned by the 
sea-side, passing a monastery of monks where eighty 
boys are instructed, and where five monks now reside. 
Its style and comfort are not like Mount Mellary. 

382 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxv. 

Thurtday^ May day, — Here the ancient custom of 
dressing poles with flowers, and placing them before 
the doors of the rich, is kept up. Horses and carriages 
are ornamented with them, and the children of the 
peasantry call at the doors of the gentry to receive 
presents.* The holidays of the Irish peasantry pre- 
sent to the stranger the character and condition of this 
people in the broadest outlines. You see how the 
liberty, which on such an occasion is allowed the 
greatest latitude that it ever can take, is chastened by 
a cringing servility, which says, " I am your humble 
slave." You see the effort at tidiness and show, which 
give you the extent of the scanty wardrobe acquired 
by the ill-paid labor of the master. You see the quick 
perception of generosity and meanness, as the gift 
is put in the scale with the donor's wealth and station. 
You see the full mark of enjoyment, which the Irish 
heart is capable of reaching above all others, both in 
sunshine and storm ; and you see that God has 
stamped his image as legibly, as nobly, yes, as invi- 
tingly, on the peasant as on the lord. 

I determined, if possible, to see Roundstone that 
day, a walk of ten miles. Walked a few miles, when 
a little boy of ten years old came up with a staff, and 
was a pleasant companion, telling me many wonders 
of the wild barren country. Passing a pile of stones, 
he paused, and I walked on a few paces ; he seemed 
fixed to the spot. I said, " it is a wild place, boy." 
" A dreadful place it has been, ma'am, for robbers. 
There is one buried under that pile of stones there, 
who lived about here, and staid on that island in the 
lake you see back there ; it was long they watched 
him, and at last one night they killed him, and put 
him under that pile of stones." I enquired after 
reaching the town, and was told that the story was 
true; that before Father Mathew had been there, 

• I was told at Glengariff that the old lord furnishes his pocket 
with shillings to meet the little girls at the door on May morn- 
ing, who first present him with an Qg^, a shamrock, or a bmich 
of wild flowers. 


Connemara was infested by robbers. I asked the boy 
to read; he did so intelligibly, and answered every 
question from the second of Matthew, respecting the 
birth of the Saviour, correctly. " And what," I asked, 
*< is to become of this world ?" " The great Judge will 
come and burn it up," was the answer. He was 
ready in the Scriptures, though he had been trained in 
the Catholic church. 

Two miles from the town a decently clad farmer 
accosted me. He had been to attend a lawsuit, a case 
of ejectment. " I have worked," he said, '* on a farm 
since a boy ; my father died, and left it to me, three 
years ago. I had made a comfortable house for myself 
and family, and been preparing manure all winter to 
put in a greater crop of potatoes and corn. The 
agent came round, saw the improvements, and told me 
I should not sow any seed, but must quit the pre- 
mises." And he was actually ejected, notwithstanding 
the encouragement he had had from the landlord to 
make the improvements. From twenty to twenty-four 
shillings an acre were tenants giving on this rocky 
spot, which in many places could not be ploughed. 
"I must take my little all," added the man, "and 
leave my fathers' bones, and seek a home in America." 
Hard is the lot of the poor man in Ireland. If 
he is industrious, his industry will not secure him a 
home and its comforts ; these he must lose so soon as 
this home is above the abode of the ox or the ass. 

" Why don't you," said I to a widow who had an acre 
of ground, " make things about your cabin look a lit- 
tle more tidy ? You have a pretty patch of land, well 
kept, and might look very comfortable." " But, lady, 
I have but one little slip of a boy of fifteen years of 
age, and he toils the long day to rair a bit of vegetable 
to carry to market, and he helped me to put up this 
little cabin, and if I make it look nice outside, the 
agent will put a pound more rent on me, or turn me 
out and my little things ; and I couldn't pay the pound." 
These are facts all over Ireland. If the poor tenant 
improves the premises, he must be turned out or pay 

384 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxv. 

more. If he do not improve it, he is a lazy dirty 
Irishman, and must be put out for that. I reached 
Roundstone, and was kindly received by a Christian 
Protestant woman who had invited me there before in 
Clifden. Met an intelligent police-officer and his 
sister ; and in the morning visited the school, taught 
by a Roman Catholic, and supported by the Home 
Mission. It is in its infancy, its funds low, and the 
children supplied themselves with what books they had, 
which were few and defaced. I sat in the school-room 
till eleven, waiting for the scholars to assemble, and 
with much urging succeeded in hearing two girls at- 
tempt to read. The teacher is a learned man, but the 
appearance of his person told that a schoolmaster^s 
salary in Ireland is a poor inducement to plod through 
the declensions and conjugations of a Latin grammar. 
The whole together was not attracting. The Testa- 
ment is kept in school, and the teacher observed, " It is 
read by all who wish to read it, and the others omit 

Mr. Crotty, the Presbyterian clergyman who em- 
ploys the teacher, says he can do no better in the 
present state of things. Poverty sits brooding on 
every thing here. A Church of England curate, a 
Presbyterian clergyman, and Romish priest divide the 
town among them, leaving a scanty pittance to each of 
the laborers. Mr. Crotty was once a Romish priest, 
and is now a thorough adherent to those principles he 
once denied. He certainly has done honor to the 
change he has made, if the voice of his neighbors 
weigh any thing ; for the Catholics all spoke kindly of 
him as a peace-maker, wishing to do good to all, and 
" given to hospitality." 

Roundstone, which might as well be called All- 
stone, stands upon a pleasant bay, and has a strand 
about two miles distant, of two miles in length, and in 
some places of nearly half a mile in width, of the 
finest white sand, and the most beautiful shells in the 
whole island. Here I spent some hours alone, amid 
the drifting of the sand, gathering shells, and endan- 


gering my eyes ; almost threatened with a burial in 
the vast heaps that are piled nearly mountain high ; 
my feet sinking deeply at every step. An ancient 
burying ground is back of the strand, and many of 
the dead bodies have been washed out, and have been 
found among the sand. The poor peasants, men, 
women, and children, were gathering sea-weed, load- 
ing their horses, asses, and backs with it, to manure 
the wretched little patches of potatoes sown among 
the rocks. They walked home with me to town, some 
of them with loads upon their backs which to me looked 
frightful. "This," said a fair young girl, who had 
rested her basket a moment upon the wall, " this is 
what the good God puts on us many a long day, and 
we musn't complain.*' I must acknowledge I cannot 
comprehend how such unnecessary, unheard of, degra- 
ding suffering can be made to sit on young hearts like 
this so uncomplainingly. Working a whole life for a 
potato ! yes, a potato ! " We have them for a 
rarity," said a young Irishman as he rose from his sup- 
per, " we have the lumpers three hundred and sixty-five 
days in a year." " A great blessing," I answered. 
" The greatest curse that ever was sent on Ireland ; 
and I never sit down, see, use or eat one, but I wish 
every divil of 'em was out of the island. The black* 
guard of a Raleigh who brought 'em here, entailed a 
curse upon the laborer that has broke his heart. Be- 
cause the landholder sees we can live and work hard 
on 'em, he grinds us down in our wages, and then 
despises us because we are ignorant and ragged." 

This is a pithy truth, one which I had never seen 
in so vivid a light as now. 

ScAurday — ^I left the kind Mrs. Moran, where I had 
stopped, and directed my footsteps to Clifden. The 
police officers, at my egress, detained me some time at 
the door of the barracks, with multiplied enquiries 
about America, and kind wishes, for myself. As I 
proceeded, the wind became so strong in my face that 
walking was almost impossible. I was soon joined by 
a woman going to Clifden with a heavy burden on her 


386 CO OF GALWAT. [chap. xxv. i 

back. " And why did ye lave Roundstone ? The , 
people were all waitin' to see ye on Sunday, and 
the hotel keeper's wife was to keep ye a few days, for ' 
she has been in America, and she'd like to discoorse j 
ye, and she knew ye'd no good place to lodge." With ' 
her heavy burden she was soon out of sight, for she 
must be in Clifden for market. 1 sat down ; the gusts . 
were so violent in my face, that I could scarcely make I 
my way. A man with a loaded team met me, and I 
said, " Ye cannot walk with this storm in yer face ; ! 
go into the Half-way house, and wait till I come back, 
and I will give ye a ride into Clifden." He had five 
miles to go, and unload his team, and ^ve miles more 
to return to the spot. I went into the Half-way house, 
but was glad to get again upon the street, and buffet i 
the storm. I had travelled fifty miles in this part of 
the country, and never seen a tree or shrub, unless 
what was planted by the hand of man as an ornament, ^ 
and this only once. Yet we are told that all these 
mountains and valleys were once covered with trees ; 
that the bog-oak found so far beneath the surface is 
one proof, and the turf another. 

I soon saw an old man leaning upon a staf^ ap- 
proaching, as I supposed, to beg. "An* ye're an 
American, an' I've been hurryin' home to see ye ; an' 
ye're alone, and a stranger, and my heart wawrms 
towards the stranger. I've a daughter in America, 
an' I didn't hear from her these three years, an' I'd go 
there to-morrow if I had the manes, if I knew I shoidd 
die in a week. This is a dreadful place, ma'am. They 
are all haythens. They buried a parish priest, and 
dragged him off in a common cart ; they did indeed, 
ma'am; and I beg ye to be out of this mountain, 
ma'am, as soon as ye can.*' The old man's eloquence 
increased as he proceeded. " I'm from Kilkenny, and 
the people there are civilized. Oh, must my ould bones 
be buried here !" I had the Testament open in mj 
hand, and went to a wall, and sat down. He tottered 
towards me, and I said, " If you will stop, I will read 
some of Christ's words to you. You are old, and if 



you love Christ, you will soon be where he is." " Ah, 
I am a sinner, lady, a great sinner, an ould sinner. But 
do ye tell me ye arn't lonely on these wild mountains ?" 
<* I am not alone ; Christ is with me, and I hear him 
say, *Let not your heart be troubled.' " " And d'ye 
say that Christ is with ye ! Oh, if I could say that ! 
Oh, if my owld heart could feel that !" I read the 
14th of John in his wondering ears, while he, at every 
sentence which struck him, would lift his withered 
hands, exclaiming, '< And is this Jesus ? Did he say 
this to sinners ?" I read, and talked, and read again. 
The winds had hushed, and the sun shone out, and 
told me I must hasten ; I looked in the old man's face, 
the tear was trembling in his dim eye ; I turned away. 
" I have kept ye too long, ma'am ; pardon me, but my 
heart wawrms towards the stranger." He tottered away, 
and I heard him praying the good God to bless the 
lone stranger. Never can I forget that old man of 
the mountain. 

Within two miles of Clifden I entered a miserable 
hut, and found a company of women sitting on the 
floor. The woman of the cabin said, "Are ye a 
widow ?" Answering in the affirmative, " An' I'm the 
same, and but one cratur in the world that belongs 
to me, and she's dark, ma'am. I put her in bed 
a sound child, an' she was dark in the mornin.' She's 
gone to the next town. She fiddles, but her fiddle is 
poor, and I can't reach money to buy her a new one." 
I went out, she followed, pitying and wishing she 
could do something for me. Looking me earnestly in 
the face, " Would ye know me, ma*am, if ye should see 
me again ? I shall want to see ye, and know how ye 
do." She turned away, then called again, •' God speed 
ye, and give ye long life, and may I see ye again." 
Hoping to hear no more tales of sorrow till I should 
reach Clifden, I hurried on, but was soon accosted by, 
" God save ye kindly, and have ye travelled much 
since I met ye ?" I looked up, and recognised the old 
man with his pack, to whom I read the Scriptures on 
the banks of the lake. I recollected my promise to 

8 2 

:588 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxv. 

give him some books, but had none with me, and conld 
only say again, " Be ye warmed and be ye filled.'' He 
bade all manner of good wishes, and hoped I should 
meet his daughter in town. 

I hastened to the post-office with anxiety, and found 
a letter enclosing two pounds ten, with a bundle 
of Bibles and tracts from the same kind clergyman 
who had been the instrument, at my first setting out, 
of getting the Bibles from the Hibernian Society. I 
wept tears of gratitude, that I, a stranger in a strange 
land, should be so carefully remembered. I went to 
the coach-office, for though the carriage was paid 
in Dublin, yet eighteen pence more was demanded, or 
the books could not be given. This was another trick 
played upon me by Bianconi s agents ; I paid it, 
resolving never to have any more to do with his agents 
or cars. I have observed throughout Ireland two 
classes of men with a superabundant capital of in- 
solence — post-masters, and the agents of coaches and 
canal-boats. Civility seems to be lost on them, more 
than on any others I met in the country. This I 
attributed to two causes ; the hurry and perplexity of 
their business, and the pride of being so exalted above 
the spade, in a country where stations beyond the 
peasant's lot are so enviable. 

I was now almost happy. I had the prospect of 
doing a little good, where so much good was needed. 
The daughter of the old man I met upon the lakes 
called, and modestly reminded me of the promise 
to give her the Word of God. She had not forgotten 
what we read together, and said she had thought much 
of it since. I gave her one, offering her some tracts, 
but she, too, wanted nothing but the Word of God. A 
young Roman Catholic lady was lodging in the house, 
and she possessed good sense and a tolerable educa- 
tion. She examined the bundle of tracts, and found 
some on controversial subjects. She begged me not to 
offer these. " You have," said she, " done good here, 
by showing to the people that you did not come 
to quarrel with them about their religion, bat to 


do them good, by giving such books as they might 
read ; but if you circulate these, it will be said you are 
like all others, and the good you have done will be lost." 
This was sterling advice, and I followed it. She took 
a Testament, and it was her constant companion. I 
have found her reading in bed, and by the way-side. 

Sabbath. — Went into the Sabbath -school, and found 
the old curate and his young wife, with each a scholar 
teaching. He gave us a cool rational sermon. This 
curate and his wife were very kind ; and the 
little attentions they showed me left pleasant me- 
mentoes on my mind. They invited me to tea, and 
asked me to play on the piano ; they afterwards left 
the town, not expecting to return till I should be gone, 
and sent me the key of the piano, as I must, they said, 
be lonely, and I might have access to it at any hour in 
the day.* A Bible-reader was sick in the house where 
I lodged, and very poor ; but rich in fuith. He had 
labored long and faithfully in a retired part of this 
desolate region, slept upon la ground floor, and at last 
sunk under the accumulated weight of his burdens. 
From him I learned much of the poverty of the 
country, and much did he lament the want of vital 
piety in the hearts of those who professed Christ. " I 
am sick," he said, " of nominal Christianity." 

Monday morning. — My heart was light and buoyant, 
and the young Catholic lady set off with me to Diamond 
Mountain, a walk of ten miles, where we had been 
invited by two police-men the Saturday previous. 
We filled a basket with books, and were early on our 
way. The walk was romantic, diversified with lofty 
mountains, transparent lakes, and every variety of 
man, woman, and child, that poverty could present. 
Women with all kinds of burdens, doing all manner of 
work ; some shovelling sea -gravel into baskets, lifting 
it upon their backs, and throwing it upon the potato- 

• This little act of kindness said more for their true Chris- 
tian hospitality towards a stranger, than money would have 

3» CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxv. 

ridges. ** This is hard worf I observed, " for wo- 
men " " This is our lot," answered one, ** and we 
must do it ; but if we had monej to go to your country 
we wouldn't be here." One shrewd woman said, ** I 
wish there would be war ; then we'd have both work 
and money. Any thing for a change. Here we toil 
like dogs and beasts, and live because the Almighty 
God don't call us." This woman was daily employed 
at this heavy work, for five pence a day, leaving her 
husband and ten children at home, a mile from her 
place of labor. We passed her cabin, and found her 
husband doing a little job at coopering. Miserable, 
miserable huts, and ragged children, so darkened the 
pleasant scenery of mountain, lake, and river, that my 
morning buoyancy began to flag a little. 

On a rocky promontory of steep ascent sat a 
Connemara woman, with a red flannel jacket and petti- 
coat, looking out, and a ragged girl standing near. I 
ran up the rock, sat down at a little distance, and com- 
menced singing. She sat mute, looking into the sea, 
as if petrified ; and though a boat was cheering, and 
crying "Long life to you," she remained unmoved, 
and when I proffered my hand, and spoke kindly, she 
looked steadily, but made no attempt at speaking. YUe 
passed down and left her, nor did she move till we had 
gone from her sight. We next called at a cabin, where 
a number of children had collected, to whom we gave 
books. Finding they attended a school near, we 
entered the school-room, and may I never see the like 
again. In one comer was a pile of potatoes, kept from 
rolling down by stones, on which the ragged bare- 
footed children were seated. In another corner was a 
pile of cart wheels, which were used for the same pur- 
pose ; and in the middle of the room was a circular hole 
made in the ground, for the turf fire. Not a window, 
chair, or bench could be seen. The pupils, with 
scarcely a book, looked more like children who had 
sheltered themselves there in a fright, to escape the 
fury of a mad animal, or the tomahawk of some yelling 
savage, than those who had assembled for the benefit 


of the light of science. This was a Connemara school, 
and it was all they could do. I had seen sprinkled all 
over Ireland, schools in miserable cabins, where were 
huddled from forty to seventy in a dark room without 
a chimney ; but they had benches to sit upon, and 
their school-room was upon the way-side, while this 
one was in a wet back -yard. Those parents who are 
able, pay a penny a week; those who are not, pay 
nothing ; while the wealthiest among them pay half a 
crown a quarter. I saw many schools of this kind, 
where the child takes a piece of turf under his arm, 
and goes two miles, and sometimes three, without 
breakfast. In many parts of the south, and among the 
mountains, they could eat but once in the day from 
Christmas to the next harvest, and this meal is 
generally from two till three o'clock. 

We now proceeded to the police-station. Here the 
wife of the sergeant treated us politely, and placed 
a dinner of meat, bread, and potatoes before us ; and 
the sergeant then sent two of his men to show us 
Diamond Mountain, so called from having upon the 
top a transparent stone which resembles a diamond, 
and is used in breast-pins and bracelets. We waded 
through bog till the ascent became difficult, and the 
rain poured down without mercy. We crawled under 
a shelving rock, but the furious wind sent the drops to 
seek us out, and we again attempted the ascent. To 
me it was quite difficult, and a little dangerous, my 
Indian-rubber shoes slipping, and compelling me to 
crawl, and support myself by holding to the heath. 
Here I lost a second pair of silver-mounted spectacles, 
which I used entirely for reading, and which had 
served me years for that purpose. I looked back to 
Lismore, renewed the lament there made at the loss of 
my favorites, and felt that spectacle-troubles were 
peculiarly my lot. 

The mountain was a mile high; one of the 
men had gained an eminence above us, and com- 
menced rolling tremendous stones down the preci- 
pice, which bounding from hillock to hillock, from 

392 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxv. 

rock to rock, made a most frightfal appearance as 
they tore their way, splitting and tliundering till the 
mountain trembled as by a slight earthquake. To 
finish the drama, he crept upon the highest peak of the 
rock, where was poised a stone of tons weight. He 
gave a desperate push, and dislodged it. I saw the 
first movement of his body and fell upon my face, sup- 
posing man and rock were tumbling together. The 
young woman had succeeded in reaching a shelving 
part of the cliff, and was holding by some twigs. I 
ventured, as the thundering a little ceased, to peep up, 
and saw her standing like a petrified monument, her 
white naked feet looking like marble. When the rock 
had shattered in fragments, all was still, and the police- 
man called out, " I am here." I looked, there he sat 
upon the frightful pinnacle, happy, as he afterwards 
acknowledged, that he did not pay for his presumption 
by going headlong. 

The steep upon which the young woman stood 
was nearly perpendicular; she had contrived to 
accomplish the ascent by disrobing her feet, and 
insisted that I should do the same, and follow her. 
" Here," she said, " you can see all the world, and all 
the sea, and here, too, is a cave." I crept up with 
my Indian-rubbers upon my feet, but so steep and 
so slippery was it, that I could retain my position only 
by holding fast to the heath. Here was a cave like a 
room, with a stone in the middle for a seat, and the 
roof of square stones as if laid by the hand of man. 
It seemed impossible that this could be the work of 
nature, yet what monk or chieftain could carry up his 
food and his water, and subsist upon the mountain ? 
It was a proud height. A mile were we sitting, or 
rather hanging, above the level where we commenced, 
and the sea and earth seemed spread beneath us. The 
presumptuous man kept his position, looking at the 
crumbling fragments, and said he well nigh lost his 
balance, and was shocked at his own bold exploit. We 
could not reach the diamonds. The rain was pouring, 
and how to descend was the question. The bare- 


footed girl could keep her hold, while my slippery 
rubbers exposed me at every step to a long slide which 
might be fatal. But by sitting down and sliding 
where walking was impossible, I succeeded in reaching 
a cabin near the bottom, in time to secure a couple of 
roasted potatoes, which the adventurous policeman 
and girl had prepared from a heap in the corner, where 
was a fire, aiid a little girl only to keep it. 

We reached the barracks, leaving the diamonds to 
sparkle at a distance, as all diamonds generally do. 
But a kind lady gave me some fine specimens which 
were gathered from the rock, and nothing now re- 
mained but to compose my mind with the loss of the 
spectacles, and a breast pin of Killarney curiosity in 

A good fire and pot of potatoes dried our clothes 
and filled our mouths ; and now for the lodging. The 
policeman had promised to secure this, but deferred 
it till night, when we had no time for choosing. And 
if the compassionate reader has been touched by our 
mountain adventure, let his sympathies follow us to 
the lobby at least of our resting place. 

As the policeman led us to the door, " You will as 
usual," he said, " find cattle in the room, but you will 
have a clean bed." Ah, the poor hapless girl and my- 
self tested that bed ! We entered the house, two cows 
were lying and chewing their cud, and a horse capa- 
risoned with a straw saddle taking his supper. The 
mistress was sitting on a stone projecting from the 
chimney, her head up the pipe of it, smoking. She 
could lodge us " right well," and we were shown into 
the room, our feet sticking upon the floor, which when 
damp is like pitch and tar. We instantly committed 
ourselves to our fate. The father and mother soon 
joined us, and men, women, and boys were in an 
almost open loft over our heads. 

Daylight did certainly dawn ; we rose in good time, 
paid our bill, and said good morning to the mistress, 
leaving her in the same spot where we found her, and 

s 3 

394 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxv. 

at the same emploTment, with her cows and horse by 
her side. 

Tully was the next destined post, without break- 
fast. Wind and rain confronted us at every step ; we 
called at the cabins when we could not help it, and 
certainly they were among the miserable. It was 
twelve when we reached Tully. I had gone supper- 
less to bed, had passed a sleepless night, and walked 
through mud and rain till twelve, and now felt the 
need of food. To our sad disappointment, not a loaf 
of bread was in the town, and the good Methodist 
lady where we stopped said there had been none for 
six weeks ! Can you believe, who may read this, that 
in 1845, when there had been no failure of crops, an 
assize town with tasty-looking houses lived six weeks 
on nothing but potatoes! An old man kept a shop 
with a little flour, but so i^re was the call for it that 
he was out of town most of the time, leaving his door 
locked. He returned that day, so that by two o'clock 
my hunger was a little calmed by a soda cake. We 
then visited the National school, taught by the son of 
the woman where we stopped, and found it under good 
regulations. The teacher had a salary of twelve 
pounds a year. 

We walked out of town ; stopped at a cabin where a 
Catholic old man, who had been a sailor, kept us too 
long; for so powerful was the effluvia from various 
kinds of filth of cabin and cattle, that the girl, though 
used to such places, became nauseated, turned pale, 
and was faint. We gladly got out into the fresh air, 
but the girl was quite ill for an hour. We sought a 
decent house, found a decent bed, and paid a decent 
price, and took a breakfast of potatoes with the good 
Methodist woman. Walked back, and took a second 
tour on Diamond Mountain for the spectacles, all 
unavailing, and we returned to Clifden, certainly 
wiser than we were three days before, and I was cer- 
tainly poorer. The next morning for Omey. 

At an early hour I set off from Clifden (the capital) 
to visit this island, the distance of seven miles. Reaching 


a village of the most ancient kind, such as houses of stone, 
constructed like a loose stone wall, without gable ends 
— some with tops like a bee-hive, or inverted basket — 
some with holes for smoke to ascend, and some with no 
way for its escape but through the door ; I selected one 
of the largest dimensions, knowing that there would be 
a full turn-out from every cabin and potato-field in 
eight and hearing. I was not disappointed. As if by 
magic, in a few moments every neighbouring cabin 
was vacated, the hi 11- side and bog had not a foot to 
tread them — every spade was dropped, and in a few 
moments the ground of the cabin was literally packed 
with men, women, and children, in rags and tatters — 
some with hair erect, and some with caps, and some 
with hats, but more with none. In one solid mass 
they all sat down upon their haunches, and began their 
welcomes to Ireland, and their wonder that so " goodly 
a body should leave so fine a country to see such a poor 
people ;*' my polka coat, my velvet bonnet, and all that 
outwardly appertained to me passed in review. Taking 
out a tract, I read a little, while they wondered at my 
" plain spache,** and thanked God that they had seen 
such a devotee, going, as they supposed, on penance. 
'* And sure ye must be hungry — and such a dacent 
body wouldn't ait a potato/' A staring them I was 
not hungry, they all rose and joined in one universal 
valedictory of, " God bless ye, and speed ye on yer 
journey." One woman followed me out, and begged 
me to turn into her cabin and take an egg ; I told her 
that I was greatly obliged that she should show me so 
much kindness, but I must hasten to secure a walk 
across the strand before the tide should set in. 

I crossed the strand, and reached an island a mile in 
diameter, of one rude pile of stone, with a little patch 
now and then of green, without a road, the foot-paths 
being so obscured by sand blown in from the beach, 
that guess-work was my only guide. Here were huts, 
some of stone, and some of mud ; and here, too, were 
habitations dug in the sand, as rabbits burrow, and 
whole families live therein ; an aperture to qrawl in 

396 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxt. 

admits the inmates, serving as door, window, and 
chimney ; on the ground straw is spread, which serves 
for tahle, bed, and chair. At each end of this island 
live the owners, called "lords." 

The miseries of that island must be seen to be be- 
lieved. I went into a hut, and found a familj about 
drawing their stools around a basket of potatoes. They 
received me with much urbanity, made sensible en- 
quiries of my country, and spoke of the good she had 
done to poor Ireland. Seeing that their dinner was 
cooling, I said, " your potatoes look quite tempting, 
sir ; may I take one ?** " Take one 1" said the delight^ 
wife, " would ye ate one P The man added, " I was 
ashamed, ma'am, to be seen aitin' 'em while you was 
in. This is a dry bit, without milk or butter, ma'am, 
and yer country never ait like this." "Can you 
read?" I asked. "I could once, ma'am, but my eyes 
are growin' dim." I handed him a tract, and he read 
tolerably ; went out, and called his son to choose one 
from my bundle for himself, as I had given him the 
privilege. They had selected the finest potatoes for 
me, and toasted them upon the coals. They had two 
guests beside ; a beggar, and a friend of their own, 
and all had a scanty dinner but myself. The guests 
would not eat till I was well supplied, and the poor man 
did not make a comfortable meal, and this was the only 
meal for the day. 

The son was sent to show me the path to. Lady 

M , and, wading ancle deep in sand, I made my 

way to it, and found an entrance into the kitchen. 
The lady had gone to Clifden, and the floorless room 
was a deposit for calves, pigs, hens, and ducks. 
Two servants were sitting on the hearth, and hand- 
ing one a tract, which had a red cover, the scene 
that followed I better felt than my tongue or pen can 
describe. The girl went out, and in a few minutes the 
dilapidated door, with a tremendous noise, was burst 
open, pouring in a host of men, boys, and girls, who 
were employed planting potatoes ; and they with one 
consent pounced upon me, demanding books, and they 


must be red ones. Begging them to be quiet, and I 
would make an equal distribution, (having about fifty 
with me) — ^they would hear to none of this, but rum- 
maged my basket, demanding an entrance into my 
pocket, all clamoring at once, some in Irish, and others 
in broken English, while the servant girl stood aghast. 
A man more manageable than the rest, who had 
entered before the mob, and had been reading a tract, 
declared to them that the books were " dacent," and that 
they were blackguards ; and after I had given the only 
one in my possession, he succeeded by physical force 
to drag them out of the house — such as were dragable, 
while the others took their own time and own way. I 
made off, with an apology from the servant, that she 
could give me nothing to eat, as all was " locked up." 

My next depot was to be at the extremity of the 
island, where lived the other " lady." She, too, was 
out ; but I was admitted into the kitchen^ and had a 
quiet survey of what was passing there. Here I counted 
sixty-three living and moving beings, quadruped and 
biped, besides such as walked erect — a kennel of dogs, 
three coops for hens, chickens and ducks^ a calf or two, 
a pen of young pigs, a fold of sheep and lambs, and an 
able-bodied goat — these all walked and talked each 
his own language, with no pugnacious symptoms ; and 
if the " lion and lamb did not lie down together," the 
goat and lamb did. 

But the " lady," — she entered with a goodly-looking 
daughter of fifteen, both attired in long linen coats, 
with respectable tails reaching nearly to the ground, 
worn by the father and brother. They passed through 
in dignified silence, and in a moment the lady returned 
saying, " Come down to the parlor." I went down to 
the parlor, and here was a ground floor, a dirty-look- 
ing bed, a few wooden-bottom chairs, and a table by 
the wall, with one leaf turned up, and a platter of po- 
tatoes and a cup of milk. " Will you take some din- 
ner ?" I did not decline, for I was hungry, and a long 
walk before me, and the tide not yet out, and the sun 
was set. The lady was young-looking and handsome. 

398 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxv. 

and the mother of sixteen hopefuls, was rich, and 
rode out to Clifden, giving great dinners in the city, 
and on the island assimilating herself to the society 
around her. 

Eight o'clock, the tide was said to be out, and I 
had a strand of a mile to cross, and six miles to Clifden 
then before me. A boy was sent to show me the 
shortest course, and when I had nearly reached the 
strand, a girl called out, " The mistress says may be 
you'll come back, and stop all night.*' A strange over- 
sight, my pride answered, that this invitation was not 
given before. I thanked the child and went on, quite 
to my disadvantage. Midway the strand the sea was 
quit« deep : I waded in and stood demurring ; the 
night was dark, and to find a passage out seemed im- 
possible. I turned back, and made my way to the 
** lady's ;" she then made a shrewd investigation of the 
cause of my visit. Looking at her altogether, her 
savage living, her ragged dress, and pretence to high 
rank, I was disgusted to find myself at the option of 
such an " out of the way affair," and I told her plainly 
I came to Ireland because I had a right to come ; that 
they were daily sending loads of beggared and abused 
emigrants to us, and T had come to see how and what 
they could be at home ; and making the application to 
her own kitchen, she understood me when I said, *» I 
have seen, and am satisfied." She was rebuked, and 
treated me with uncommon attention through the 
evening. She gave me a clean bed, in a floorless 
room, a cup of milk by my side to drink in the night, 
and in the morning presented me with a dish of po- 
tatoes, and was sorry she had no bread ; declining the 
potatoes, I walked the seven miles without eating, and 
was much enriched by what I had seen. 

My way home was intricate. I found myself en- 
tangled in rocks, after crossing the strand, and was a 
full hour climbing and creeping to get out. I at last 
found the road, and the village where I stopped the 
preceding day, and had another meeting. One woman 
among them had been bred in Galway, and invited me 


into her cabin, which though dark was cleanly, and 
remarked that Connemara had greatly improved in 
the last twenty years. That then their time was spent 
in the most degrading vicious manner that could be 
imagined ; the can of whiskey was carried from cabin 
to cabin, and whole days and nights spent in glee and 
drunkenness ; and their persons, their cabins, and 
their beds so filthy that they were intolerable to all 
but themselves. I assured her the latter was now the 
case throughout Ireland, so far as I had travelled ; and 
were it not that they were God*s creatures, made in his 
image ; and bound to his tribunal, I would say of many 
of them, "He that is filthy let him be filthy still," be- 
fore 1 would risk my eyes, my nose, or my garments 
within gallopping distance of their multitudinous dis- 
gusting unmentionables. " No hope," she sighed, 
" for poor Ireland !" Glad was I to see Clifden, hav- 
ing eaten scarcely three ounces of food since I left 


Misfortunes in Clifden — Reverse of Fortune — An Aged Pil- 
grim— Eiiger Listeners — Visit to a Dying Man — Glorious 
Sunset — An officious Policeman — Lady Clare — Arrival in 
Galway— Obtrusiveness of the Women — A Sermon on Bap- 
tism—Journey to Westport — Introduction to Mr. Pounden — 
A devoted Presbyterian Minister — Sketch of a Cliristian 
Alissionary, such as Ireland needs— Croagh Patrick — Haz- 
ardous Ascent of the Mountain — Grand Prospect from the 
Summit — ^Return to Westport — Doubts Removed — Filial 
Affection — A Poor Protestant. 

Saturday morning, while across the street speaking 
to a blind man, my purse was robbed of three half 
crowns and a few pennies, by a little servant girl, 
who had seen me take out some, and run out in hafite, 
leaving my purse and bag upon my bed. Clifden was 
an unfortunate spot for me. A pair of new gloves 

400 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxvi. 

had been taken the daj previous, my spectacles and 
breast-pin lost, and now my money. Went oat and 
visited schools, found one in miserable plight, crowd- 
ed, dirty, and noisy, and the teacher in keeping with 
the whole. A second was a well ordered one, the 
teacher a man of sense as well as learning. A family 
who opened a boarding school, invited me to pass a 
few days in their house, and I found them with 
the remains of a ruined fortune, struggling to edu- 
cate their own children by teaching others* A 
class of people quite plentiful throughout Ireland are 
those who once were in higher life, and are now 
struggling to keep their hold of the crazy boat. But 
those are generally found to be the better sort of so- 
ciety ; having been schooled in affliction, they have 
felt the uncertainty of all earthly calculations, and by 
intercourse with the enlightened class of the community, 
they have acquired knowledge and habits which make 
them interesting, and often useful acquaintances. 
Their pride at the same time has been so wounded, 
that, if not humbled effectually, they are more conde- 
scending and more communicative to such as are below 

In the family where I lodged resided the mother of 
the mistress of the house, and she was a character 
worthy a place in a better journal than mine. She 
had seen more than four- score years, yet her intellect 
was clear, and though infirm, not peevish ; cleanly and 
attractive in her person. By her bed-side I passed 
many a pleasant hour, reading to her attentive mind 
the Word of God. One evening after reading, she 
added, " What blessed words ! what blessed words ! 
and may I ask you what you think of the "Virgin ?" 
I told her, and added, as I have ever done, the reason 
why I do not worship her ; " because God had not 
enjoined it;" and then read the 18th and 19th ver- 
ses of the last chapter of Revelations. She exclaimed, 
" O my God ! what have I done if this be true ? what 
have 1 done ? God have mercy on me." She con- 
tinued this for some time, she wept, and prayed that 


God might forgive her ; and during my stay, whenever 
she heard my footsteps in an adjoining room, she 
would enquire if I were coming in, and if I would 
read, still continuing the lamentation about the blessed 
Virgin. "What shall I do I what shall I do!" she 
often asked, and was as often told to go to Jesus ; and 
I believe she did go. 

SahbcUh — I spent five hours reading by the side of 
her bed, and was surrounded with a roomful of the 
most attentive hearers, in great admiration — so much 
80, it was often difficult to proceed. I read a tract on 
the operation of the Holy Spirit upon the heart, and 
an aged man sitting by exclaimed, " Blessed Jesus, 
who ever haird the like ! I'm an ould man, and never 
before knew rightly what was the meaning of the 
Holy Ghost. Did ye ever ?" he said to the listeners. 
" No, no," was the united answer. The chapel bell 
was sounding every hour, when one said, " We hav'n't 
been to mass this mornin*." " And hav'n't we haird 
more than we should there ? The like of this raidin' 
we shouldn't hear in many a day's walk." I was ob- 
liged to close. Five hours of constant reading and 
talking affected my voice, and I could only commend 
them to God, and say adieu for ever. As they lin- 
gered, blessing and thanking me, one said, " Aw, no 
mass was ever like this, I could be listenin' till the 
mornin'. " These people are asking, to be fed, and their 
ears are open to instruction ; but the little facility 
of reading which the adults possess puts it out of 
their power to attain much information, and their ex- 
treme poverty prevents their giving an advanced edu- 
cation to their children. 

Thunday, May \bth. — Prepared to depart, gave all 
the farewells to the family, and while the trembling 
hand of the old lady to whom I had read so much 
pressed mine, her still more trembling voice said, 
" The Almighty God be with ye, and I do believe we 
shall meet in heaven." I felt grateful to God that I 
had met this old pilgrim, and cheered her a little on 

402 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxvi. 

her passage to the grave. She knew, she felt, that she 
was on the confines of the eternal world, and her only 
desire was that Christ would be glorified in her, and 
fit her to depart in peace. Mrs. M , her daughter, 
and the young woman who accompanied me to TuUy, 
went out with me a mile on my way, and we called at 
a cabin to see a sick woman, who the day previous was 
present at the long reading, I was now obliged to 
say adieu to my companions, and Clifden for ever.. 
It was painful to leave the interesting girl, who had 
seen better days in the life-time of her father, and is now 
destitute of those means of acquiring that instruction 
which she is so anxious to obtain. 

Galway was my destination, and I ascended a car of 
the common kind, in company with a young married 
woman, and Wm. Keane, the good man who had of- 
fered me a ride from Roundstone at the Half-way 
house. He had a noble heart, and some refinement of 
manner. I begged to stop at the cabin of the kind 
man who gave me a lodging on the bundle of straw. 
Mr. K. went to the door, and called him. He crept 
out, tottering to the road, a handkerchief about his 
head ; his pale face, his bright eye, and husky voice 
telling that consumption was consuming his vitals. 
" I can get no good here, ma'am, and plaise God I shall 
go back to Tralee if the good God don't take me away." 
I presented him a Testament, telling him it was the 
good book I read to him when there. " An' God bless 
ye, and warn't ye a blessin' to me when in my cabin, 
and I can do nothing to pay ye.'' I gave the children 
some books, and as he turned away, he spoke in a low 
tone to Mr. K,, " Take care of that woman ; she's a 
blessin' to Ireland. She was a blessin' to me ; and God 
I know will bless her." This was too much, when I had 
been so hospitably sheltered from the storm at his ex- 
pense. It was I who had received the blessing, and as 
1 saw him slowly creep to his cabin, and knew that he 
must soon stand disembodied before his Judge, I 
prayed that the good seed sown in his heart might 
spring up to eternal life. 


We called at Mr. Steely's, where I staid on my way 
to Clifden ; stopped long enough to roast me a couple 
of potatoes, and distribute a few tracts. Then passed 
the pleasant lakes where I read to the old man and his 
daughter. It was a sunny day, and the mountain and 
lake scenery was exceedingly beautiful. We reached 
the Protestant family where I had promised to leave 
some books, and was entreated to spend a night with 
them, but could not. ** She is the loveliest woman," 
said Mr. Keane, when we had gone out, " that ever 
lived on these wild mountains. She's a Christian." 
He was a Catholic, yet her godly example convinced 
him that she was a follower of Christ. 

It was now about sun-setting, and the ride to 
Outerard was more than interesting. Such a sun- 
setting and such a twilight by sea or by land I never 
beheld. When the sun sank behind the mountain, he 
left a scoUopped edge of gold, leaving the lofty peaks 
below tinted with the richest blue. The sky, the 
lakes, and the curling smoke from the cabins upon the 
sides of the mountains, where the poor peasants had 
built their evening fires to boil their potatoes, — the 
rustics returning from labor, or from the market 
at Outerard, — the crescent moon looking out as if 
modestly waiting to do what she could when the sun 
should retire, made a scene of the liveliest and loveliest 

I almost regretted reaching the town of Outerard, 
but here found pleasant accommodation, and in the 
morning passed out to walk through the town while 
the car was getting ready. A policeman stepped up, 
" Are ye Lady Clare, ma'am P" " I am not Lady 
Clare, sir, but Mrs. N. from New York." " From 
New York I and what brought you here ?" " To see 
you, sir, and the rest of the good people of Ireland." 
" To see me, ah ! and you know it's my duty to inquire 
of every suspicious person that comes along what their 
business is." " Indeed, sir ! every suspicious person ! 
And is it your duty to ask every person who passes 
peaceably through your country what his business is. 

404 CO. OF GALWAY. [chap. xxvi. 

and to give an account of himself ?" " It is, ma'am." 
"Then you have duties which no other policeman 
understands, for I have travelled a great part of Ire- 
land, and the police-officers have treated me with the 
greatest kindness/' He turned awaj, went to the ser- 
geant, and asked if he should arrest me. The officer 
told him no, to be off about his business ; and the 
woman who accompanied me lectured him so severely 
for " tratin' a dacent body so," telling him he was " a 
saucy red-head," that he walked away, silenced, if not 

This Lady Clare I was told, some twelve years ago, 
was a gentleman in disguise, who went about the 
country, inducing the laboring people to swear they 
would not work for less than a stipulated sum, much 
greater than present wages, with sundry advantages 
beside. And if the landlord refused compliance, they 
would turn out in the night, and dig up his meadows, 
so that he would be compelled to till them. This game 
it was said was now in operation in Clare, and the 
newly initiated policeman, hearing I had come to visit 
the poor, determined to show his loyalty to govern- 
ment by bringing the lady before it in due season. 

We reached Galway, and I felt more inclined to be 
home -sick than in any place I had before been. I 
took a different lodging from my old one, but found no 
improvement ; and was terribly annoyed by the Gal- 
way women following me from street to street, from 
alley to alley, fixing their full unblinking eyes upon 
me. Their ugly teeth, their red petticoats, and repul- 
sive manners made them second to none, even the 
Connaught corduroys, in all that was to be dreaded. 

Sabbath Day, — I went in search of a Methodist 
chapel ; a young man generously offered to show the 
way, and I found myself seated in a gallery in a 
Catholic one. It was late, and the sermon on bap- 
tism had commenced. A good exhortation was given 
to parents to train their children faithfully in the fear 
of God. The sermon was closed by particular direc- 
tions how to baptize effectually, should any layman be 


called, on a special emergency, to perform the rite. 
We were told emphatically to remark, that in pro- 
nouncing the name of the Trinity, if each distinct 
person in the Godhead were not spoken or named 
with great slowness and distinctness, the baptism would 
be good for nothing. This was repeated, that each 
might be enlightened, and all faithfully enjoined not to 
forget it. At evening I visited the Protestant Sabbath- 
school, and listened to a lady explaining the lessons to 
her pupils, who showed much knowledge of the Scrip- 
tures, and appeared to be deeply impressed with their 
value herself. 

Monday^ May 27th. — I took the car to Westport, a 
distance of fifty miles. Stopped while the horses were 
changing, and asked for a penny's worth of bread and 
a potato. The bread was brought, but was quite sour ; 
they had no potatoes. Asked for a little milk, a girl 
went to the cow, and with unwashed hands milked a 
few spoonfuls into a tea-cup, and presented it fresh 
from the mint. I refused the filthy-looking beverage, 
took a halfpenny's worth of the sour bread, and asked 
for my bill. " Sixpence," was the answer. A York 
shilling for a cent's worth of bread ! *' A good profit," 
I said. They paid back three-pence. I found in most 
hotels in Galway and Kerry, what I had not met so 
much elsewhere, a disposition to take the most they 
could get, however extravagant the sum. 

A few hours brought us to Westport. The coach- 
man provided me a wholesome lodging -place. The 
next day being sunny, I enjoyed a treat, walking 
alone over the shady grounds of Lord Sligo, by the 
side of pleasant water, with all the etceteras of a 
gentleman's demesne who lived for pleasure. He had 
died a few months before, leaving his great estate to a 
son who follows his steps. — "Whatsoever a man 
soweth that shall he also reap." A monument erected 
by the citizens to his agent, in honor of his bene- 
volence, is a pleasing testimonial of gratitude, and says 
that there is a capability in the Irish heart, even 
among the most degraded and poor^ to reciprocate 

406 CO. OF MAYO. [chap. xxvi. 

klDduess, and a quick perception of justice when 
exercised toward them. On mj return, called into a 
Protestant school, conducted like all parochial schools 
in the country, and by the teacher was introduced 
to Mr. Pounden, the rich rector, whose estate and 
splendour, I was informed, were not much inferior to 
those of Lord Sligo. From him I ascertained that 
considerable had been done for schools, and the 
spreading of the Scriptures among the poor ; and I 
was told by others that he is a man of benevolence, 
improving the condition of many around him. My 
next call was to the house of a Scotch Presbyterian, 
named Smith. I mention his name because I delight 
to dwell upon it ; the remembrance of those " mercy- 
drops'* in the desert, where I was often very hungry 
and thirsty, is pleasant to the soul. His wife, who is 
of a good family in England, received and welcomed 
me with all that Christian courtesy that made me feel 
myself at home among kind friends. Something 
was immediately brought me to eat, and presented 
in that manner and abundance that said, <<you 
will oblige me greatly by partaking unsparingly." 
Reader, did you ever eat a slice of the " bread of 
covetousness ?" I assure you I have, and it is bitter, 
sour, indigestible, and quite unfit for a healthy sto- 
mach. This was not such bread. 

This famil)''s benevolence was on the lips of all the 
poor in the vicinity ; though with a stinted salary, 
that salary is divided among the children of want, 
till, as I was informed, oftentimes a scanty supply 
is left for their own necessities. Would to God, Ire- 
land could boast many more such among the full-fed, 
over-paid clergy of the country. Here I found a de- 
voted, active, efficient bible reader, with a salary of 
thirty pounds a year, who goes from house to house 
among all classes, and explains the Word of God to 
those who have not access to it. He met in most cases 
with a kind reception, and why ? Because he went 
with the love of God in his heart, and talked of this 
love ; held up Christ and him crucified, which is all 


the sinner needs. If love will not melt the flinty 
heart, will bitterness do it ? I truly believe that the 
Word of God would not only have been received with 
willingness, but sought after by the greater part of the 
peasantry of Ireland, had it been presented with 
no sectarian denunciations, and had all the teachers, 
like this one, been humble, self-denying, and kindly. 
It is a most important item in the qualification of 
teachers, that they understand human nature in its 
various developements. It is not enough that they can 
pronounce well, elevate and depress the voice accord- 
ing to the rules of punctuation, expatiate on the elo- 
quence of St. Paul, or the sin of Ananias. They 
should know well not only the broad avenues to the 
heart, but the narrow streets ; yes, and every repulsive 
forbidding alley. They should know, too, the time of 
day when these paths can most prudently and easily be 
trodden. There is not a heart but has its waxings and 
wanings ; there is not a temperament but has its eb- 
bings and Sowings ; and, like the skilful mariner, they 
should know where to cast anchor, and when to trim 
the sails. They should know when in deep water, and 
when near shoals and quicksands. In travelling the 
entire coast of Ireland, I needed not to see a bible - 
reader, to know his abilities or faithfulness. The Irish 
peasantry have an uncommonly just conception of 
propriety and impropriety, right and wrong, benevo- 
lence and covetousness. A dabster at his trade, or a 
filthy-lucre labourer is quickly discerned. 

** Lay not careless hands," &c. 

I was now in the vicinity of the celebrated moun- 
tain, where we are told St. Patrick stood, when he 
banished the venomous serpents from the island. Its 
lofty sharp peak, at a distance, towering to the skies, 
looked as if it could scarcely afford breadth for more 
than one foot at a time. But here we are told the 
holy saint stood, and here we are shown the prints of 
his knees where he prayed. Here, too, is an altar for 
worship, and here the inhabitants of the adjacent 

406 CO. OF MAYO. [chap. xxn. 

parishes assemble yearly, at an early hour, on the last 
Friday in July, to perform what they call stations. 
Multitudes are seen climbing the difficult and danger- 
ous ascent, from the town of Westport, to mingle with 
fellow pilgrims from other parts ; to go nine times 
around a pile of stones, call their sins to remembrance, 
ask forgiveness, and promise better lives in future. 
A sprightly young girl I had met on the path offered 
to accompany me at an early hour to the mountain. 
I called at her door and knocked ; the girl was asleep, 
and I passed on. A country school-master soon ac- 
costed me, and learning who I was, walked a mile with 
me, to give a history of his school and country. Like 
most country school-teachers, he had become acquainted 
with the hearths of all the domiciles in his parish ; and 
to appearance he could rival Goldsmith's controver- 
sialist : — 

** For e*en though vanquished, he could argue still." 

He told me it would be presumptuous to attempt the 
ascent of the mountain alone, and begged me not to think 
of it. ** You will be lost, and never find your way ; 
and should any accident befal you, no one could know 
it, and you would perish alone." This was all good 
sense, and I was more than mad that I did not heed 
it. Reaching the foot of the mountain, a cabin woman 
met me, and offered her bright lad as a guide, for any 
trifle that the lady might plase to give. I offered as a 
trial two pence half-penny, for I did not intend taking 
a guide if possible to avoid it. " Oh, he shall not go 
for that ; but as you are a lone solitary cratur, he shall 
go chaper than he ever did, and that's for a six-pence." 
I happily got rid of the annoyance in this way, and 
heard, after passing the door, *' She'll be destroyed." 
I went on, and enquired of another the best path. A 
man answered, " And do ye think ye could reach the 
top alone ? no mortal bein' could do it. But one man 
ever did it, and then declared he wouldn't do the like 
again for all the parish. But I have as sprightly a 
little gal as is in all the country, who will show ye every 


inch." I made the same offer as to the woman, and 
received the same answer, and I found him willing to 
run the risk of having me killed, which he assured me 
must be the case, rather than lend me a guide for a 
trifle. I mention these two cases, as the only ones I 
now recollect in all Ireland, who refused me a favour 
for a small equivalent. 

It was now two o'clock : three Irish miles from the 
main road, was the top of the mountain said to be. I 
looked up, the sun was shining, the air was breezy, 
my strength and spirits were good, and why should I 
hesitate, when I had so many times in Ireland done 
more out-of-the-way "impossibilities?" I went on, 
but soon was lost in miry bog, and intricate windings 
of deceitful paths, for two hours. At last I lost a 
beautiful Testament, which had been my companion for 
many a mile ; and when looking for that, a man called 
out, " Ye ar'n't thinkin' ye can go up the mountain to- 
night ? Darkness '11 be on ye before ye reach the top, 
and ye'U perish there. Go home, and some long day 
bring a friend with ye. Ye're out of the path ; the 
fowls might pick yer bones upon this mountain, and 
not a ha'porth be haird about it." This looked a little 
discouraging, and I sat down to consider. I looked up 
at the dizzy height above, then at the sun ; thought 
what a prospect I should have at the top, of the beau- 
tiful islands, the sea, and the lakes under my feet ; and 
I made the fruitless effort to find the path. It was a 
fearful undertaking, and I record it not as a proof of 
valour or wisdom ; it was the height of folly, if not 
recklessness. By crawling and pulling, a little was 
gained, till a-head T saw a white track, taking a cir- 
cuitous route around a smaller mountain, which was 
to lead to the great one in view. I reached it and sat 
down ; the prospect here was beautiful, was grand. I 
solaced my eyes, and endeavoured to make up my 
mind that this would answer without proceeding. But 
this could not satisfy me. I was in Ireland, on the 
side of one of its loftiest and most celebrated moun- 
tains, and though a dangerous ascent, yet younger and 

410 CO. OF MAYO. [chap. xxvi. 

older feet bad reached the top, and what others had 
done I could do. But I was alone, and the hour was 
late. What if some joint should be dislocated, or I 
should stumble and go headlong ? I might suffer days, 
and die at last unheeded. << I will go a few yards 
more and then stop." The few yards were attained. 
I sat down and said, " Am I tempting my Maker ?* 
A little refreshed, and another point was gained, till a 
dizzy and almost perp^idicular steep, with white round 
stones for a path — which had been washed by water 
till a channel was formed, in which lay these stones—' 
was my only road. I made a desperate effort, crawling 
and holding by the heath where I could, till, almost 
exhausted, I ventured to look again, and saw a large 
loose pile of stones upon the top, and knew they must 
be the stations around which the devotees performed 
their penances. Another effort, and my feet stood 
upon the grand pinnacle. 

The first sight was so picturesque and dazzling, I 
supposed my eyes were deceiving me, that the almost 
supernaturad exertion had dimmed the true vision, 
and false images were flitting before them. Not so. 
A true map of the most beautiful varied finish was be- 
neath me. Hundreds, yes, thousands of feet below me, 
were spread out lakes and islands in the ocean. Fifty 
islands I counted upon my right hand, bordered with 
various colours ; some fringed with sand, some with 
gravel, some with grass reaching to the water's edge. 
On the left was the bold island of Clare, looking like 
some proud king over all the rest. The sun was 
shining in full splendour, giving to all the appearance 
of a fairy land. The top of the mountain is oblong, 
and so narrow, that, had the wind been violent, 1 
should have feared that I could not retain my footing, 
for the descent on every hand was almost perpen- 

Here is an ancient pile of stones, and a kind of altar, 
on which the prints of St. Patrick's knees are shown, 
which he wore in the stone by constant kneeling. 
Here, by some mystical virtue or power, he banished 


all the serpents ; and whether, like the devils whi(ih 
entered into the herd of swine, these serpents had the 
privilege of entering into some other animals, or into 
men, certain it is, that they do not show themselves in 
any tangible shape in Ireland. The sun was declin- 
ing. I sang, and called to the inhabitants below ; but 
they neither answered nor heard me. The descent 
was now the difficulty. There was another and safer 
path upon the other side, but this I did not know, and 
the frightful road was undertaken. One misstep of my 
slippery Indian rubbers, one rolling of a stone upon 
which I was obliged to step, would have plunged me 
headlong. I felt my dependence, yet my nerve was 
steady. I trembled not, nor was I fearful ; yet I felt 
that the cautions given by the schoolmaster and others 
near the mountain were no fictions. The sun had 
not two hours to shine upon the pinnacle, and I on its 
slippery side, nearly three miles from the abode of 
men. God's mercy never to me was more conspicuous 
than when I found myself unhurt at the bottom, for 
this mercy was shown me in my greatest presumption. 
I was not going here to see the poor, to instruct the 
ignorant, or to do good to any child of want. I went 
to gratify a desire to see the marvellous, and in the 
face and eyes of all kind caution to the contrary. I 
pray God I may never be so presumptuous again. 
When I reached the cabin where the boy was refused, 
I told the mother that had she sent him, I should have 
paid him well ; but when I found her great concern 
for my safety was only to make a shilling, I would give 
him nothing. She immediately brought forth a plate 
of potatoes and a fish in return for my lecture, without 
a reproachful word, put them upon a chair before me, 
and I ate a potato and went home to Westport, fa- 
tigued, yet happy that I had seen what I had, and had 
accomplished a feat which I was told neither man or 
woman could accomplish alone. 

The next day a fair was held in Westport. Nothing 
new or interesting marked the occasion. The people 
in and about the town are a tolerably tidy-looking pea- 


412 CO. OF MAYO. [chap. xxtx. 

santry, and though they could not wholly refrain from 
staring at me, yet I was not in that imminent danger 
of being swallowed alive, that seemed to threaten me in 
Galway. Another pleasant call at Mr. Smith's made 
the day pass profitably. He invited me into his place 
of worship, which was near his house, and while there 
1 had occasion to speak of a clergyman in Dublin, who 
was a friend of Mr. Smith, and from whom I had just 
received a letter. I read the letter to him ; he seemed 
pleased, as if a doubt had been loosened but not re- 
moved respecting my good character and intentions. 
Pausing a moment, he said, *^ And is that letter from 
my friend ? Let me see the handwriting.'' He took 
a letter from the same clergyman out of his pocket- 
book, compared the writing, and seeing there was ac- 
tually no forgery, he was apparently much gratified. 

I was more pleased with the good man now than be- 
fore ; for though he had not intimated by a word that 
he was jealous of my real character, nor did I let him 
know that I understood his doubts about the letter, 
yet I now saw he had been vacillating ;. and notwith- 
standing, had he known me to be a saint, he conld not 
have treated me more kindly in word and action than 
he had done. Though his Scotch caution whispered 
that he must be upon the watch-tower against de- 
ceivers, yet he was "careful to entertain strangers'* 
until he proved that they were impostors. 

The next morning I had hoped to visit the island of 
Clare, a distance of fourteen miles, but was disappointed 
in getting a boat, and turned my steps through a beau- 
tiful wood on Lord Sligo's estate. Haifa mile took me to 
a house, out of which came a mother, two daughters, and 
a granddaughter of six years old. This child's mother 
was in America, and had been gone nearly four years ; 
but so indelibly fixed was the mother in the mind of 
the child, that every woman that is a stranger she 
hopes may be the one she ardently desires to see. 
When she found I was from America, it was affecting 
to see the imploring look she cast upon me. The mo- 
ther bade her daughter to accompany me through the 



wood, telling the granddaughter to go into the house. 
The child obeyed, but we soon heard her in pursuit. 
She plucked the blue bell and primrose, and presented 
them to me ; broke great boughs from the hawthorn, 
and filled my hands ; looking with such a winning 
confidence into my face, that I wished her away. She 
followed me to the cabin where I stopped, and for 
three hours sat near me ; her aunt could not persuade 
her to return, neither could I, but by giving her a book ; 
and then she lingered and looked after me till she 
could see me no more. I found myself surrounded by 
a group of listeners, all Protestants. One aged man, 
who had renounced Popery, entered, and the meekness 
of his appearance distinguished him from the ordinary 
Christian. He was truly " meek and lowly." I pre- 
sented him an Irish Testament, which he could read 
well, and he received it with the greatest gratitude. 
Reader, he was a beggar, going from cabin to cabin to 
ask his potato ; one of the members of Christ's body, 
and a member of a rich Protestant church I Here 
was Christ presenting himself ; and they all recognised 
him as a rare example ; yet they sent him, poorly clad, 
hungry, and weary, from door to door — asking for what? 
A potato I Look at this, ye proud professed disciples 
of the Lord Jesus, and say, " What will ye do in the 
end thereof?" 

I found these cabiners warm-hearted, and a tidy in- 
dustrious people. The poor widow where 1 first stop- 
ped supported a family by weaving, working from sun 
to sun for ten pence a-day at the loom. I was escorted 
through the neighbourhood, invited to stay all night, 
and in the evening read to both Catholics and Protes- 
tants. The hearing of the ear is certainly given in 
these places, if not the understanding of the heart. I 
blessed God, after I passed away, that I had fresh 
proof that all was not lost that was done for these poor 

414 CO. OF MAYa [chap. zzTn. 


SnncUj Seimons — ^Newport — A Relic of Better Dajs — ^Airi- 
Tal at Achill Sound, and Kind Reception from Mr. Sarage 
and his Familj — ^Visit to the Colonj — ^Mr. Nangle's Fk^ 
testant Missionary Settlement — Mdlj Yesey's Lodgings — 
Visit to the Schools at the Colony— Walk to the Keem 
Mountains — A Centenarian — The Amethyst Qoarries — ^Tbe 
Author's Acknowledgpnents and Censures Explained — ^Mr. 
Nangle's Weekday Lecture — Inteiriew with Mr. and Mrs. 
Nangle— Doctrinal Conrersion is not all tiiat is dne to the 
Conrert from Popery— A Reformed Roman Catholic Priest 
— Renewed Ho^itality at the Sound— Another Short Yisit 
to the Colony— Newport — Intemperance not banished firom 
the County of Mayo — ^Westport— Castlebar — Sligo — ^A Bean- 
tiftil Glen — ^Hospitality in Death— Picturesque Scenery of 
the County of Sligo— Return to Dublin— The Mendicity 

SahbcUh^I heard Mr. Smith preach a solemn dis- 
coarse from Peter, ^' Seeing that all these things most 
be dissolved," &c. He invited me to his house, and 
gave another proof that he obeyed the Apostle s in- 
junction, " Given to hospitality." Heard a fluent Der- 
byite give a discourse from, " Behold the Lamb of Grod." 
These people preach Christ in a clear and convincing 
manner, and show that they have been taught of him. 

I now prepared to visit Achill, which had from 
my first visit to Ireland been the spot I most ardently 
desired to see. I had heard that it was a little oasis, 
where the wilderness had been converted into a fruit- 
ful field. I walked six miles to Newport, and called 
on the bible-reader of the Independent church, and by 
his hospitable wife was made most welcome. A break- 
fast was soon before me, and an invitation to stop ; but 
as her husband was absent, I engaged on my return to 
call and spend a night with them, hoping to hear more 
particulars about his mission. I passed on, overtook a 
poor man walking slowly with a pack upon his back, 

CHAP, xxvn.] CO. OF MAYO. 415 

and said to him, ** We are walking the same way, and 
you look in ill health." He was cleanly dressed, and 
his whole appearance said he had seen better days. 
<< I am palsied, ma'am, on one side, and can move but 
slowly." His history was, that he had been a police 
officer, had been struck with the palsy, and was dumb 
for three months. He went to Scotland, England, and 
France to be cured, spent all he had, became a beggar, 
and finally by teaching had been able to purchase a 
few goods, which he was trying to sell about the coun- 
try. He was a Roman Catholic, and said he alwaya 
kept a bible till he was palsied ; it was then lost, and he 
had not been able to buy one since. He added, ^* I am 
a sinner, and fear I shall never be saved." " Go to 
Jesus," was my reply. His ready answer was, " But I 
must go in faith, and how shall I get that faith ? I 
must go, nothing doubting, for < he that doubteth is like 
a wave of the sea.' " This was sound doctrine, and I 
sent up a hearty petition that God would put suitable 
words into my mouth, to speak in season to that en- 
quiring soul. I endeavoured to do so , he thanked me, 
and gave an interesting recital of the exercises of his 
mind during his sickness, and since he was able to 
move again upon the face of the earth. I presented 
him a Testament. He took it, much gratified, and 
promised to read it daily ; he had already been en- 
lightened by the Holy Spirit into many of its truths, 
and could teach many who had read it much more. 
He walked so slowly that I bade him good morning, 
and passed on to stop at a house and rest a little. 
While there, he went by, and we fell in company again, 
and soon overtook a tidily dressed woman, who was 
his wife. Again we talked on the same good subject, 
but the mind of his wife was still in darkness. They 
left me at a poor town, I supposed for ever, and I 
reached the Sound at eight o'clock. It was a desired 
haven for my weary feet, and yet I dreaded to enter 
it. I looked about on the wild shore, to ascertain 
where I should find shelter if not received at the hotel. 

416 CO. OF MAYO. [chap, xxvii. 

I saw nothing, and made an ingress in the only door I 
saw, which took me to the kitchen, and asked a little 
girl if I could have enteitainment. She could not 
tell, but would ask the mistress. The mistress in a 
moment was before me ; and when I saw her uncom- 
monly tall figure, I shrunk; but when her kindly 
soothing voice said, " You are fatigued, and you had 
better walk down to the room," I felt it was the voice 
of a friend. In this room were no pigs, hens, calves, 
or goats. It was a well-ordered inviting place ; an air 
of comfort, health, and peace said, here is the mother 
whose daughters shall " arise up and call her blessed." 
Every question was put to ascertain my wants ; they 
enquired not the strange object of my journey, nor my 
pedigree, but, " What can we do to make you most 
comfortable?" O, these are mercy drops to a lone 
stranger, far, far from home. These are kindnesses 
which Christ will remember when he shall say, ** I was 
a stranger, and ye took me in." 

A fine little ruddy boy of twelve months was laugh- 
ing in a sister's lap, and saying, by the clapping of his 
tiny hands and sparkling of his eyes, " Welcome, wel- 
come, stranger." This boy was the twenty-first child 
of that mother, all in the dust but four ; three lovely 
daughters moved in that house like young blossoms of 
future promise. Gladly would I have staid for weeks ; 
but when two nights and a day had refreshed my weary 
limbs, and healed a little my irritated feet, 1 looked 
across the Sound, and made preparations for leaving 
their comfortable carpets, cheerful fires, and wholesome 
beds, and felt that I was leaving home. " Go,*' said 
Mrs. Savage, " and stay a week upon the island. Visit 
the schools, and the cabins, and the curiosities of the 
island, and you will be well paid." 

I had heard much of the indefatigable Mr. Nangle, 
and wished to hear from his own lips the success of 
his mission, his sacrifices, and future prospects. I had 
heard that a fault-finding tourist had been that way, 
and carried out some evil reports ; and I had heard 


that persecutors had risen up around him, and he 
sought redress by the arm of the law. Though that law 
gave him the victory, yet some few lips that had read 
the gospel whispered that "carnal weapons" were 
never fitted for the missionary of the cross. I had heard 
that the benevolent Dr. Adams had left all, and de- 
voted himself unpaid to that arduous work, and that 
the faithful humble curate was a meek pattern of hu- 
mility to all around him. On him I was requested to 
call, and was offered a note to him from Westport for 
that purpose. These different items made up the sum 
total of information I had gathered about Achill, and, 
putting all into the account, my impressions were more 
favourable than otherwise. 

At an early hour I crossed the Sound, intending to 
walk till the public car should overtake me. I entered 
the colony without the car, and enquired for Mr. Lowe, 
the curate. He was not at home. The man of whom 
I enquired invited me into his house, and told his wife 
to put on the tea kettle. Telling her I did not use 
tea, she presented me with good domestic bread, milk, 
and potatoes. When the dinner was finished, I was 
shewn into the dining-hall, where dinner for the or- 
phans was preparing. Nearly one hundred, I was told, 
were here fed, clothed, and taught to read and work. 
It was neat and inviting, and the food wholesome and 
abundant. I certainly was more than pleased. I was 
grateful that my eyes had seen, and I could testify for 
myself, that here was a group of children from Ire- 
land's poor that needed no pity. The neat white 
cabins, and the colony as a whole, looked to me at- 
tracting ; a barren soil had been converted into a fruit- 
ful field by the hand of industry. It was now nearly 
sunset, and lodging must be found. The hotel was 
not quite in readiness, and no private lodgings I was 
told were in the colony, and I was directed to a hill 
out of the colony, to a " respectable tidy house kept by 
Molly Vesey." I walked and waded through deep 
sand till the hill was ascended, and the huts, of rough 
stone, fiung together without mortar, without gables, 


418 CO. OF MAYO. [chap. xxvn. 

and circular at the top, made one of the most for- 
bidding looking spots that I had ever seen. Winding 
among the huddled kraals, to ascertain whether it was 
possible that a being who had breathed a civilized air 
could tarry there for a night, I at last was directed to 
Molly Vesey's. As I looked in, " And is this in truth 
the tidy lodging-house, where the good people of the 
colony directed a stranger to lodge ? Is this the do- 
micile where the thrifty manager has gathered two 
hundred pounds, and put it in safe keeping for pos* 
terity ?^ A cow was in the kitchen ; a man not of the 
" finest and fairest" was smoking in a corner ; a two 
pail-full pot was boiling a supper of lumpers, but Molly 
was not in. I sat down, and she soon entered, and 
making my wants known, I was invited " to walk 
down." Hope revived — something better might be in 
reserve. My fate was fixed. I turned my eyes upon 
the frightful bed on which I was to be laid, and said, 
must I drink this bitter cup ? A pile of stools, bar- 
rels, and such like etceteras, with a long table, made 
up the furniture, and in the midst of this I was seated. 
I was for a few moments in a profound reverie. And 
is this the outer porch of the superb temple I had come to 
visit ? Surely the architect must have a few mould- 
ings and trimmings yet to put on before the fabric wiU 
be quite finished. My meditations were soon broken 
by Moll3r's entering with a feather bed, and placing it 
upon a bench ; the long table was drawn into a cen- 
tral part of the room, a chair put at one end, a half 
barrel across it serving two purposes — ^to lengthen the 
table, and elevate my head. Seeing what was in re- 
serve, I asked, " What are you doing ?" " Making you 
a nice bed, ma'am." " Why not put me upon the bed- 
stead?" "A stranger sleeps there." "A stranger! 
Who is this strangerP' " A nice man, ma am." This 
was the man who was smoking in the corner when I 
entered. << And you mean, madam, to put a man into 
this room to-night ?" " What harrum, what harrum?" 
My indignation was aroused, nor did it settle entirely 
on the head of Molly. In the mouth of two or three 

CHAP, xxvn.] CO. OF MAYO. 419 

witnesses was it established at the colony, that M0II7 
Yesej was not only a respectable woman, but kept a 
respectable tidy house ; and yet that same Molly sold 
whiskey, and by this got her wealth. Is this then the 
standard of morality, propriety, and tidiness elevated 
by the colonists for strangers to gather about ? Do 
you ask the names of these witnesses ? I do not know, 
or gladly would I put them upon this paper. " You 
may, please, carry your bed away, good woman. I 
shall not sleep upon it/' A whisper was given to the 
girl, and then, turning to me, " You shall sleep on the 
bedstead." I was the loser on the score of cleanliness. 
Had I slept upon the barrel, I might have had a clean 
cover for my pillow ; but I had the room, with all its 
indescribables, to my own independent self, and in the 
morning awoke to a brighter view of what appertained 
to this " tidy lodging-place." A plate of potatoes was 
offered, which I declined, paid for my accommodations, 
and was about to depart, when a loquacious teacher 
gave me a few new ideas and proofs of the merits of 
the Romish church ; he certainly had tact, he cer- 
tainly had words, and he certainly knew something of 
the history of both the Romish and Protestant church. 
After an hour's listening, my escape was effected, 
through sand and difficulties, to the neat little colony. 
Meeting the good Dr. Adams near his own door, I 
enquired if they had no better accommodations in the 
colony than those which had been served up to me the 
preceding night ; that I regretted that they had no more 
9elf respect than to send a stranger there, even if they 
had no bible knowledge of the claims of a stranger. 
I then asked if I could buy a piece of bread in the 
place, and was answered " Not any." To do justice to 
the doctor, he said to the friend at whose house I 
dined the preceding day, that a comfortable place 
should have been provided for me to lodge ; and / 
should not have been shocked at his Christian benevo- 
lence had he given me a breakfast at his own table. 
A third, who was standing by, said, " Mrs. Barrett has 
occasionally sold it ;" and the other then kindly invited 

420 CO. OF MAYO. [chap. xxvu. 

me to his house for a breakfast ; but as there was a 
little probability of getting bread at Mrs. Barrett's, 
and the kind man had given me a dinner the day be- 
fore, I declined, went to Mrs. Barrett's, and not onlj 
bought a roll and got a breakfast at two o'clock, but 
was offered a decent bed in a snug little room without 
charges, and their kindness never abated while I ¥ra8 
in Achill. After breakfast I visited the infant-schooL 
The children, who were orphans, were tolerable in 
appearance, though the dresses of some needed a little 
repairing ; and their inattention to their lessons was in 
agreement with the management of the teacher, who 
certainly did not take her diploma in the University 
at Glengariff, where the schooldame said, <^ I teaches 
sewing, ma*am, and they gets along finely," for there 
she would have been instructed to offer strangers 
a seat, and to treat them with a little civiUty. 
I next visited the female-school, taught by a young 
lady from Dublin ; the room was cleanly, the scholars 
the same, and the writing, which was all I saw, com- 
mendably done, and the teacher somewhat civil. I 
then entered the school for boys ; they were reading a 
chapter in Acts, and the teacher requested me to ex- 
amine them. I did so; they answered well, and 
evinced good training, and the teacher showed that he 
was not afraid to be decently courteous. I now felt 
myself rising a little in the scale of respectability by 
these three steps of regular advance, and returned quite 
satisfied with my afternoon's visit. Mr. Barrett re- 
quested me to give him any letters of introduction I 
might have, as he wished to show them to Mr. Nangle. 
I had one from a Protestant clergyman in New York to 
a gentleman of respectability in England, a friend of 
Mr. Nangle's. I had a second from good authority, 
who was an editor of a Christian paper, and a small 
religious manuscript, which I thought of getting print- 
ed : these I sent, accompanied by a note, that I would 
call when I returned from an excursion to the other side 
of the island in a day or two. 

A labouring man belonging to the colony called in 


the evening, and learning that I wished to visit the 
Keem mountains, offered to send his daughter as a 
guide, adding, "You are not to pay her. I know 
what it is to be a stranger ; you have come a great 
distance to see our country, and we should be more 
than brutes not to treat you well." This was a molli- 
fying ointment indeed; and the next morning the 
cleanly little miss was at the door ; we had not pro- 
ceeded far, when the father joined us, saying, " I was 
afraid my little gal wouldn't rightly understand your 
accent, and wouldn't well show you what you want to 
see, and I thought I had better follow you." 

Here was an industrious tradesman, having half-a- 
crown a day for labor, leaving this, and saying at the 
onset he would not take a farthing. He took me 
through an ancient village, built after the manner of 
the huts where I lodged above the colony, with no 
roads but foot-paths ; and the village being large, we 
w^ere long making our way through. As we entered, 
a ragged man was sitting on the top of his hut, with 
a company of as ragged children, sunning themselves ; 
and seeing a stranger, he rose, and saluted the man in 
Irish, asking who I was, and what was my country. 
When he was told, he cried out, " Welcome, welcome 
to Ireland, twice welcome." His children then all 
echoed the same. I turned over the wall, and gave 
them my hand, and as well as I could returned them 
my thanks. Never could be seen a more miserable 
group, and never was more kind-heartedness shown. 
As we passed on, the whole hamlet was in motion ; 
those not in the way managed to put themselves there. 
The kind salutations, the desire to know every thing 
about America, and the fear that I was hungry, almost 
overpowered me. One old woman, who with her fin- 
gers told me she was three score and fifteen, whose 
teeth were all sound, and her cheeks yet red, ap- 
proached, put her hand upon my stomach, made a sor- 
rowing face, and said in Irish, " She is hungry ; the 
stranger is hungry." We were so delayed that we 
feared we should be limited in time^ and we hurried 

422 CO. OF MAYO. [chap. xxvn. 

on a couple of miles to another village of the same de« 
scription, though not so much inhabited, being used by 
the inhabitants of the first as a kind of country-seat» 
common-stock for all who assemble their cattle and 
sheep, to drive them upon the mountain for pasturage, 
to fatten them at a favourable season of the year. 
There were but a few now in it ; but walking by a 
number of deserted huts, we came to one where sat an 
old woman and her two married daughters, by the 
sunny side of the hut. Asking the old lady her age, 
she put up her fingers, and counted five score ; she 
asked for a penny, then prayed for me in Irish, and I 
asked her if she wished to live any longer ? <* As long 
as God wishes me," was the answer. << Do you expect to 
go to heaven P* « By God's grace I do." What could 
be more consistent, if she understood the import. 
Keem was now near. This mountain descends many 
hundred feet, nearly perpendicular, to the sea, through 
which is made a road about midway, and the pedes- 
trian may look up to the top of the dizzy height, or 
down in the yawning abyss, as his nerves may best 
serve him. 

Government has here made a good road, for the sole 
purpose of giving strangers, as well as countrymen, 
the privilege of walking through, and looking upon 
this grand height, and visiting the diamond quarry 
of amethysts, which have been turned to very profita- 
ble account by many foreign travellers. I gathered a 
few, and while standing there, a native from a village 
of the same description of that just passed, offered a 
splendid specimen of the stone for a few shillings, 
which I foolishly refused, not then knowing its value. 
I shall not soil Mrs. Hall's pretty sketch of this moun- 
tain and sea-view by attempting a description, but refer 
the reader to the description itself, and return back to 
the town, as a four-mile walk is before us. On our 
return we met the old woman of iive score, with a load 
of turf upon her back, which would have done credit 
to the strength of a woman of sixty. The villagers 
greeted us heartily, and were anxious to make more 

CHAP, xxvu.] CO. OF MAYO. 423 

enquiries when we passed, and much concerned lest I 
should be hungry. As we approached the colony, we 
called at the house of an old bible-reader, who had 
been converted from Catholicism more than twenty 
years ago, and said he had been reading the scriptures 
to these mountaineers ever since, and so they were 
without excuse if they did not know the way of life 
and salvation. We passed out, and the man who ac- 
companied me disappeared without giving any intima- 
tion, to avoid, as I have ever thought, the offer of any 
reward from me. Such noble disinterested kindness 
cannot be forgotten. Should the reader be led to 
think that too much severity is manifested towards 
such as have been unkind, let him read the multiplied 
acknowledgments of favours, and then taking into ac- 
count, that but a small part of the out-of-the-way, un- 
called-for rudeness and unkindness which I have re- 
ceived has been recorded, he may be disposed to give 
credit for my lenity. Again, those which are recorded 
have been divested in most cases of their roughest and 
rudest deformities. 

The next afternoon the weekly lecture at the church 
in the colony was to be held, and I enquired if any 
one would allow me to accompany him or her to the 
place of worship. The answer was, «* You need no 
one ; go in, and there is a woman there who will show 
you a seat." Mr. Barrett accompanied me in sight of 
the place ; told me that the females living near his 
house, with whom I had often conversed, had gone in, 
and he and his family could not attend that afternoon 
This was all legible hand-writing, easily to be read. 
I went, saw no seat, and stood till every person ex- 
cept the speaker probably might have testified to the 
color of my hair and eyes, before I was shown a seat. 
At last a female handed me a stool, or small bench, 
and I took a seat, not far distant from the feet of the 
preacher. The meeting was not in the main body 
of the church, but in a school-room. The room 
was cleanly, the people attentive, the sermon not 
faulty, and the females dressed tidOily. Mr. !Nangle 

424 CO. OF ^lAYO. [chap. xxyu. 

mu8t have been apprised of the object of mj yisit» 
as I had sent to him either bj note or by a mem- 
ber of his church, that I wished from his own lips to 
get a sketch at least of the success of his mission, for 
the sole benefit of the American press, as it would be 
an object of great interest to us. When the amen was 
pronounced, being so near him, the assembly not large, 
and the room not a public one, I could not but 
reasonably expect, without requiring any marked at- 
tentions, that he would give me a nod in passing, 
if not stop to speak. He turned quickly about, ad- 
dressed a lady of the congregation, and I wa